Teddy Bears Filled With Pot Sent From Tempe to Iowa; Former Arizona Resident Arrested

In a creative yet another case of people making illicit Build-A-Bears, a former Arizona resident has been arrested in Iowa for mailing teddy bears filled with pot.

At least one was mailed from Tempe, authorities say.

Douglas Duane Hoffman, 53, was arrested on Monday and slapped with marijuana distribution charges after authorities figured out the scheme, says the WCF Courier in Iowa.

The truck driver was already awaiting trial on federal meth charges, the Courier says, when cops seized a 29-pound FedEx package at a vacant home across the street from Hoffman's place. Inside the package -- sent from Tempe -- was a bundle of marijuana stuffed inside a teddy bear.

Here's what happened next, according to the Courier:

The package was closed and sent to the Sage Road address. When no one answered the door, a woman from Hoffman's house came over and said the man named on the package wasn't home. She accepted the box and said she would give it to him, according to court records.

Task Force agents then searched Hoffman's home and found a note with the FedEx tracking number, marijuana, a scale and the remnants of other dismembered bears.

At least five other shipments had been sent to Hoffman's home, cops concluded.

Update: Teddy bears have been the package of choice over the years for many weed-slingers, it turns out. Googling around, we found two similar stories from California, including one from 2005 and, perhaps our favorite, a 2009 case in which a teddy bear containing pot showed up accidentally at a toy store.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.
Contact: Ray Stern