'Drug Mule' Found With 14-Inch Incision

Guatemalan was cut open to retrieve drugs, reports suggest

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 4, 2014 4:00 PM CDT

(Newser) – Massachusetts police have made an arrest in the case of an alleged drug mule whose body was reportedly cut open to retrieve smuggled drugs, WCVB reports. Eight days ago, residents of Duxbury, Mass., found a box giving off a strong smell—and inside discovered a man whose torso had been cut open with a 14-inch incision. Reports suggest that the man, Estuardo Perez of Guatemala, had been a drug mule. Now prosecutors have charged another Guatemalan, Jose Azurdia-Montenegro, 55, with misleading a police investigation into the case.

Using a local resident's cellphone records, investigators tracked Azurdia-Montenegro and stopped him before he could board a flight at JFK Airport on Saturday, an assistant DA tells the Boston Globe. Azurdia-Montenegro initially said he'd just met the victim, but his attorney now says the two were visiting the US to buy cars for resale in Guatemala, the Boston Herald reports. Yet Azurdia-Montenegro insists he knows nothing of the murder, and authorities say a third man may be involved. Grim detail: The incision on Perez's body was a "careful cut to the stomach, presumably to access the contents of the stomach," says the assistant DA.

Jose Azurdia-Montenegro, 55, listens from behind a partition to a court interpreter, on Monday, Aug. 4, 2014, in Brockton, Mass., District Court.
Jose Azurdia-Montenegro, 55, listens from behind a partition to a court interpreter, on Monday, Aug. 4, 2014, in Brockton, Mass., District Court.   (AP Photo/The Enterprise of Brockton, Marc Vasconcellos, Pool)
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