KAITíS KNOWLEDGE OF DRUG SMUGGLING
Kait Arquette had recently been promoted to
clothing manager at Pier One Imports at Fair Plaza in Albuquerque.
Kaitís new job entailed placing orders for and unpacking clothing from
the Orient. Kaitís boyfriend, Dung Nguyen, and his Vietnamese friends
would routinely stop by Pier One, and Dung would run in, allegedly to
speak to Kait. He would also sometimes stop to speak to Sharon Smith,
(the woman who invited Kait to dinner on the night of her death), who
ran a snow cone business in front of Pier One.
A co-worker has contacted Kaitís family with
information that heroin was being channeled through Pier One in
shipments of merchandise. Those shipments arrived by UPS and did not
come through the warehouse in Texas.
The heroin shipments apparently were being intercepted by someone at Pier One before the boxes left the back room. However, on one occasion a shipment slipped by and was accidentally set out to be unpacked by employees who were stocking the shelves. Kaitís co-worker discovered that shipment and reported it to the FBI.
Example of Asian Heroin
This information was not made public. However,
shortly thereafter, the manager was fired and replaced by someone from
the home office. Two weeks later, Kait was murdered.
Kaitís family wonders if the smugglers thought Kait
was the person who reported the heroin and that she would be on the
lookout for future shipments.
Right after Kaitís funeral, Sharon Smith applied for Kait's job. Sharonís boyfriend, Ray Bowes, (who has since spent time in prison), also applied for a job there, unpacking boxes. The pair worked for a couple of weeks and then abruptly stopped coming to work. They didn't even pick up their paychecks. Kaitís family wonders if they were there to receive one final shipment.
History Of ASIAN DRUG SMUGGLING OPERATIONS:
Dec. 15, 2001, Hickory, NC (Associated Press):
ďInvestigators seized opium with an estimated value of $4 million in what they say is the biggest bust of its kind in state history. Hickory agents uncovered about 20 kilograms of opium that they said had been imported from Thailand and distributed nationwide, police announced Thursday..... Investigators say the opium came over in clothes after liquid opium was soaked into small pieces of burlap in Thailand. The burlap was sewn into the seams of clothing which were packaged in plastic and shipped from the Saraburi area in Thailand to Hickory. Once in Hickory, the smugglers removed the opium-infused cloth and boiled it until the opium came out of the cloth and solidified ... Investigators believe the opium was to be refined into heroin at the next stop.Ē