A mother decided to treat her young son to a small toy from a vending machine in a Bell Gardens restaurant. The vending machine ended up delivering the child a gift that was full of cocaine.
Inside the little plastic egg was a squishy ball, that was a small rubber balloon that is full of a substance and is meant to be used similar to a stress ball. The gum-ball machine that delivered the odd gift was located at Taqueria Los Altos on 6939 Eastern Avenue.
The mother became worried after the putt-ball toy her son was playing with had ruptured and a white-powdery substance came out. That is when the mom called the police.
Officers showed up and tested the powder using a drug-testing kit, which proved the mystery substance was actually cocaine.
Detectives then recovered 4.8 ounces worth of drugs, which is not a small amount.
The police are warning parents to be wary before purchasing things from vending machines. The investigation is ongoing, but it still isn’t clear how the drugs got into the machine meant for children’s toys.
Police said the machine belongs to a company called Snack Time Vending. Detectives don’t think that the restaurant or the vending company are involved. They are investigating how the cocaine got into the machine. “We contracted with this company for the past couple years, but no way are we affiliated with this company. We only lease the location to the company,” said Alfredo Sanchez, the restaurant’s spokesman. Police said the ball had a smiley face on it and that they want to warn parents of children who might buy items from these types of machines. Police said that the machine in question has been removed from the restaurant.
“It was weird because me and my sister get toys sometimes. and then when I heard about it, I was like I’m not going to get them anymore,” said one restaurant customer.