The Wildest Excuses People Gave After Getting Busted with Drugs

“We once found heroin stashed inside a shopping bag of Cornish pasties – a granny from Bodmin told us she’d picked up the wrong bag."
Police leading someone away at the 420 Pro Cannabis Rally in Hyde Park
Photo: Guy Corbishley / Alamy Stock Photo

You might remember a photo from earlier this month of David Warburton, the Conservative MP for Somerton and Frome, pictured next to a distressed wood table, a crystal whiskey tumbler and… what allegedly appears to be four lines of white powder racked up on an upturned baking tray. 

The internet was immediately rife with rumours about the politician’s excuse for the white lines, including the now-debunked notion that he’d “for some years relieved stress by brushing dandruff from [his] shoulders into a pile… in the kitchen”. Another explanation circulated by his brother-in-law was that the whole thing was a “fix-up” orchestrated by a foreign power such as China or Russia. 


That might sound bizarre, but it’s definitely not that wild compared to the real-life excuses given after actual drugs busts. With that in mind, we’ve rounded up the strangest explanations given to cops after they found a bunch of drugs. Names have been changed to protect officers’ identities.

“We once found 50 grands’ worth of heroin stashed inside a shopping bag of Cornish pasties, belonging to a granny from Bodmin. The old lady told us she’d been on a day trip to Torquay in Devon to play bingo with her husband, in the big Gala hall there. She’d picked up the wrong bag of pasties and ended up with a load of Class A drugs, she originally claimed. Or perhaps some dodgy bloke had thrown it into the car when nobody was looking.

By that point, we already knew that three generations of her family – including the grandkids – were involved in a long-running drugs conspiracy stretching between Merseyside and coastal towns across the South West. The jury didn’t believe her explanation and she was jailed for four years.” – Jim, South West England

“A few years ago, we were investigating a suspected crack dealer. He’d sold the drug to undercover officers, so we raided his house for illegal substances. There was no crack inside, but there was phenacetin – a popular cutting agent for the drug – and a bunch of paraphernalia.


Despite phenacetin being a well-known carcinogen – banned from medical use [in the UK] and the most common bulking agent in crack cocaine, the lad insisted that he sprinkles the toxic powder generously into his bath to soothe eczema pain.” – Mark, London

“After a tip-off, we found a young lad on a remote beach one freezing February night, with 250 grams of heroin in an old fishing boat next to him. He had no idea how it got there – he reckoned – as he’d been on a jetskiing trip in the dark. Forensic analysis showed there weren’t any fingerprints on the packaging and there was no other evidence, so we didn’t pursue charges.

You’d think he’d breathe a big sigh of relief for his lucky escape. But less than a year later, we found him on that same beach with his jetski – and a mate this time – just past midnight. There was 7.5kg of cannabis stuffed under some broken wood, just metres away. Unbelievably, he used the same excuse again. He was adamant it was a total coincidence that we found him in the middle of nowhere, next to a big stash of drugs, twice.

You don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to figure out there’s probably a connection between these two mysterious events, so we re-opened the first case too. And despite his original claims, the lad had been in France – around 60 miles away – in the hours leading up to both busts, his messages and the cell-site analysis showed.” – Neil, Channel Islands


“I was on patrol with a colleague when we spotted a nervous-looking teenager with something in his pocket. Before we’d had the chance to search him, he blurted out that he’d found a rusty knife and a package wedged into a stone wall and was about to hand them in at the station. 

This incident happened when Britain was midway through the anthrax scare, a couple of decades ago, so you’d probably expect someone to have called 999 if they saw a suspicious package. Well, turns out, it was crack cocaine.

We eventually released him with no further action, as there was no evidence he knew there were drugs in there. And the CCTV confirmed his story that he’d pulled the items out of the wall.” – Simon, London

“A woman who was caught driving dangerously, with high levels of cocaine and cannabis in her body, told us that she’d had a lot of sex lately. And apparently her fella was a big drug user and doesn’t wear condoms – so his cum made her test positive for illegal substances too.” – Dan, London

“There’s one that sticks in my mind where a young couple were indicated by a passive drug dog. Both stated that people had been smoking cannabis on the bus to the event.

As the search got underway, the male was quite cocky and the female was very calm, but we found a small bag of white powder hidden in the lady’s bag. She was shocked, then turned to her partner and said she thought he had quit using coke.


Her partner repeatedly denied any knowledge of the drugs. In the end, the young lady threw her engagement ring across the search area, before being released with no further action. The man was released too, but we observed him being ejected by security for fighting a few hours later.” – Mike, South West England

There were several grams of cocaine and cannabis inside a parcel sent from Britain a couple of years ago. We interviewed the young man named on the packaging, who was very polite and earnest, but denied all knowledge of it.

But we’d switched on his mobile phone and discovered incriminating messages, sent after midnight during the previous weekend, whereby the suspect had mentioned ordering drugs from a darknet vendor.

After being presented with the evidence, he immediately said he must’ve ordered them online while drunk and forgotten about it. Unfortunately, you’re still responsible for your actions even if you’re intoxicated. 

The man was charged with the crime, but the judge gave him the benefit of the doubt and awarded him a discounted sentence for an early admission of guilt, despite the questionable circumstances.” – Rachel, Channel Islands