American Tourist Caught Smuggling Easter Island Artifact

Sacramento, CA — Cedar Ridge exotic pet owner Pete Johnson is in hot water today at Sacramento International Airport after he attempted to smuggle an entire Easter Island moai (one of the Island’s famous monumental statues) through customs. According to customs officials, they’ve never seen anything so brazen and strange.

“We’re not sure what Mr. Johnson was thinking,” said US Customs Regional Chief Karyl Chambers, “but he certainly wasn’t thinking he would fool us. He didn’t even attempt to hide it.  He strapped it into a suitcase and checked it on a plane for an extra $3,500.00. And his excuse was even stranger.”

According to interviews with Mr. Johnson, he claimed the statue was a souvenir he purchased on a day trip to the Chilean coastline, not a real moai. However, after a few phone calls to the remote Island, Customs officials confirmed that one of the 887 statues was missing.

“The Chilean government was shocked on many levels,” continued Chief Chambers. “The most obvious one is how Mr. Johnson got the 4-ton moai off the island without detection. Obviously, Mr. Johnson had not done his research because if he had, we could have realized that each monument is bar-tagged.”

Officials were alerted to the stolen moai when a passenger reported what she said was “a huge and dangerous object in the baggage claim area.” When agents arrived, Mr. Johnson attempted to lift the nearly 8000 lb. object himself.

This isn’t the first time the Cedar Ridge resident has been in trouble. Two years ago, TSA agents caught him attempting to smuggle an entire butchered lamb from his New Zealand vacation. And more recently,  the Nevada County sheriff has visited his home after reports that his pet cougar had gotten loose in the neighborhood and eaten several small dogs. Late last year, he spent 3 days in the Wayne Brown Correctional facility for allowing his “pet” bull to run loose on the streets of Grass Valley, damaging several cars and terrorizing shoppers.

“OK, so they got me,” said a frustrated Mr. Johnson, speaking to The Fazzler. “I didn’t know taking one of these homes as a present was illegal. It would have looked so great in my front yard. Besides, it was one of the smaller ones. I didn’t think they’d miss it.”

US Customs officials are planning to return the moai later this week. As for Mr. Johnson, he has been fined $5,000 and will go before a judge later this month.

Loretta Splitair
Loretta Splitair
Loretta Splitair is Gish Gallop's Media and Cultural Editor. She has written widely including publications such as Rolling Stone, The Atlantic and the Lady's Home Journal where she hosts a regular column on the ravages of Billy Joel's music entitled, Billy Joel is a Piece of Shit. Loretta is married to her second husband after her first died protesting railway expansion in Kansas. Please do not ask her about it.

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