Cover Photo: An “Arizona Tea” false can which contained suspected illicit substances. Photo by Hagerstown Police Department.
HAGERSTOWN, MD News (2/23/2023) – Last week Hagerstown Police were able to take more fentanyl, crack cocaine and drug proceeds off our streets. Officers conducted surveillance in and around the 400 block of Jonathan St after receiving specific tips about drug activity. During the course of the investigation officers located a “false can.” These look like a real product at first glance but are made to conceal CDS. This can contained gel capsules filled with suspect fentanyl and small flip top containers with suspected crack cocaine. Officers were able to arrest Devin Marcus Gray, age 31 of Baltimore, for the distribution and possession of narcotics. In addition $2727 in cash was seized.
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Criminals have long been using various methods to hide their contraband from law enforcement officials. One such method that has gained popularity in recent times is the use of false cans and other similar hidden containers.
False cans are designed to look like regular products at first glance but are made to conceal illegal substances. They are made by removing the bottom of a real can and replacing it with a false bottom or lid that can be easily removed. These false cans are designed to hold small plastic bags filled with illegal substances such as drugs, money, or other illegal items.
The use of false cans is not limited to a particular drug or a particular region. Law enforcement officials have found these cans used to hide all kinds of illegal substances, including drugs such as cocaine, heroin, and fentanyl, as well as firearms and other contraband.
Criminals have become very creative in their use of false cans. For example, they have been known to use cans of soda, energy drinks, and even cans of food such as soup or vegetables. Criminals may even go to great lengths to ensure that the false cans appear to be authentic, including replicating the labels and seals of the original product.
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One of the reasons false cans have become popular among drug dealers is their convenience. They are easy to transport and conceal and can be easily disposed of if law enforcement officials are approaching. They are also relatively cheap to make, requiring only a can opener and a false bottom.
Another reason false cans have become popular is the difficulty law enforcement officials face in detecting them. While drug-sniffing dogs may be able to detect the presence of drugs, they may not be able to detect the false can itself. Similarly, X-ray machines may not be able to distinguish between a regular can and a false can, making it difficult for law enforcement officials to identify them during routine inspections.
To combat the use of false cans, law enforcement officials have had to adapt their techniques. One common method is to use informants to gather intelligence on the activities of drug dealers. This may involve gathering information about their methods of operation, including their use of false cans and other hidden containers.
Another method is to use advanced technology such as X-ray scanners and infrared cameras to detect hidden containers. X-ray scanners are capable of detecting differences in density, which can indicate the presence of a hidden container. Infrared cameras can detect heat signatures, which may indicate the presence of hidden items.
In addition to false cans, criminals have been known to use other hidden containers to conceal their contraband. These may include hollowed-out books, fake rocks, and even prosthetic limbs. Criminals have even been known to hide drugs and other contraband inside their own bodies, making detection even more difficult.
While law enforcement officials have had to adapt their techniques to combat this trend, the use of false cans remains a significant challenge. It is important for law enforcement officials to remain vigilant and continue to develop new methods for detecting hidden containers to keep our streets safe.
Original story from Hagerstown Police Department with additions by RFHC Staff.