A Mexican-born Instagram model’s excessive flirting was a cause of suspicion to the federal border patrol officers who reportedly found $134,000 worth of cocaine hidden inside her Mercedes-Benz.
Anett Pikula, 39, who lives in Phoenix, Arizona, allegedly tried to smuggle 13 pounds of cocaine into the United States from Mexico. She was busted on July 19 at the crossing at Lukeville, Arizona.
A criminal complaint charging Pikula for possession of cocaine with intent to distribute says she was “overly talkative” during the primary inspection.
“Flirtation was what was going on,” said Customs and Border Protection spokesman Garret Reinhart, adding that it was the flirting that made officers suspicious, reports KSAT.
Officers then sent the model through a second screening, and a drug detection dog quickly zoned in on a secret compartment at the engine firewall, reported NY Daily News.
X-rays of the vehicle were also credited for leading officers to the six bundles of cocaine, reported The Associated Press.
Investigators at Lukeville reportedly managed to open up the hidden compartment and found the bricks of cocaine.
Police seized the drugs as well as Pikula's car. A passenger with Pikula during the bust was released without any charges.
Customs officers in Arizona took Pikula into custody and then turned her over to the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.
She was born in Mexico but was granted U.S. citizenship in April, and lived in a $335,000 apartment in Phoenix, reported Daily Mail.
She was known for being a world traveler and using exotic areas across the globe as backdrops in her modeling photos on social media. She’s reportedly been to Dubai, Amsterdam, England, Germany and Brazil, among other places.
“My whole life … romance, suspense, drama, actions, cartoons,” Pikula wrote on her Instagram, which is filled with images of her modeling bikinis, eating gourmet meals and showcasing designer purses and clothes.
Though her Instagram and Facebook account tell a story of glamor, papers uncovered by Daily Mail show she filed for bankruptcy in late 2010, with more than $100,000 in debt. The filing was later dismissed in 2011.
Pikula's public defender has not responded for comment.