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Federal officers seize ropes saturated with cocaine at LAX

March 22, 2011 |  4:40 pm

Federal officers seized ropes and cords saturated with cocaine at Los Angeles International Airport, authorities said Tuesday.

The ropes and cords weighed about 20 pounds and were inside backpacks brought in March 15 by two U.S. citizens from Panama City, the Department of Homeland Security said.

The men, ages 20 and 21, said they had bought the items at a swap meet in Panama, according to the agency. One man said he was planning to use the ropes on his fishing boat. Both were arrested on suspicion of possessing a controlled substance, authorities said.

Officers became suspicious because the ropes had a strange chemical order and seemed overly stiff. They tested positive for cocaine, authorities said.

-- Robert J. Lopez
Twitter: @LAJourno