The Great Coke Bust of 1984
In high school, every day at lunch, a friend of mine would take orders, collect cash, and do a burrito run. He’d figured out that a “Buy Six, Get One Free” deal at a nearby Mexican café would not only get him free lunch but earn him a profit. At the Choate Rosemary Hall Boarding School in Wallingford, CT, Matthew Robert Holmes took the burrito scheme to extreme and illegal lengths: collecting money around his dorm, hopping a plane to Venezuela during spring break, and attempting to smuggle 340 grams of cocaine into the US. Unfortunately, Holmes did not plan on US customs. In the courthouse, after pleading guilty to the charges of possessing, importing, and distributing cocaine, Holmes said, “I did not realize the seriousness, the full extent of my participation.” In the end, Holmes was lucky. He faced a $25K fine and up to 15 years in prison but got off with a five-year suspended jail sentence, five years of probation, and 5,000 hours of community service. One thing’s for sure: the kid would have been better off dealing burritos.