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California

Police intercept Ecstasy pills mailed to Riverside in jigsaw puzzle box

Riverside arrest

More than 1,000 pills of Ecstasy were found inside a Riverside-bound puzzle sent through the mail, police said.

(Riverside Police Department)

In terms of drug investigations, this one wasn’t hard for Riverside police to piece together.

It started with a package -- a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle of a picture of cake pops, sent from the Netherlands to a home on Iowa Avenue only a few miles from the UC Riverside campus. The box rattled like a puzzle box should, officials said, but when postal investigators took off the lid, mixed in with the pieces were pills of Ecstasy, some in a bag, some not.

“Typically we [see] a lot more effort to disguise it,” said Riverside police Lt. Christian Dinco. “We’ve seen so many different things -- bottles, vases, lamps, gas tanks.”

The box held 1,015 pills along with the puzzle pieces, police said in a statement.

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With the box in hand and a search warrant ready, police and Department of Homeland Security detectives headed to the home on Iowa Avenue Wednesday to deliver the package.

There they arrested Sung Hee Jeong, 21, who police booked on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance for sale. Along with the Ecstasy delivery, officials found an additional 1,140 Ecstasy pills and 90 pills of Xanax inside the home, Dinco said. The drugs were going to be divvied up and sold to UC Riverside students, he said.

Jeong is being held on $150,000 bail and is due in court Friday, jail records show.

For breaking California news, follow @JosephSerna

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