Ah, great smuggling attempts through history. The classic surfboard de coca. The plaster snowman. And, now, coke-on-a-rope.

That's right. Start your banjos.

Because the pair of suspects is from Arkansas, a place, maybe, that would inspire one to dream that one day you could smuggle cocaine-soaked rope into LAX and U.S. Customs agents wouldn't notice how stiff, powdery, and, well, cocaine smelling they allegedly are.

The duo was nabbed March 15 after arriving at LAX from Panama. Because nobody ever brings suspicious items in from Panama.

The suspects were identified as Jonathan Cottrell, 21, and Leanthony Henderson, 20.

Lee Harty of U.S. Customs and Border Protection said this week seven ropes and about 40 canvas backpacks with attached cords — also allegedly laced with cocaine — appeared to be packed by pros.

The geniuses suspects told authorities the ropes were to be used to tie up a fishing boats. Really fast and talkative boats.

The feds not only noticed the strangely stiff ropes and chords, but the chemical odor.

Carlos Martel, acting director of the CBP in L.A., said it was a “prime example” of “astute CBP officers.” We say even Betty White could have sniffed out this alleged caper.

The pair pleaded not guilty to transporting drugs for sale. Bail was set at $300,000 each. They're expected in court again Friday.

At least they allegedly brought enough rope to hang themselves with.

-With reporting from City News Service. Got news? Email us. Follow us on Twitter, too: @dennisjromero.

LA Weekly