Julian Turner, a collector of retro video games, went to a market earlier this month and bought some old NES games. When he got home, he discovered that he’d got more than he paid for: two of the cartridges were packed with illegal drugs.
The two games in question were Rollergames and Golf. Alarm bells started ringing when Julian realised that the copy of Rollergames was a PAL (Europe/Australian) version, which isn’t something you’d see every day at a flea market in Georgia.
After then noticing the cartridges felt heavier in the hand, Turner weighed them on digital scales and found both games were around 50% heavier than they should have been (he had other copies of both games on-hand to compare).
So he unscrewed the backs of both games to investigate, opened them up and found four shiny plastic bags. After opening those, he...called the cops.
(I’ve asked the attending officer for information on exactly what kind of drugs were in the bags, but am waiting to hear back).
We actually get a chance to see all this happen in realtime in the video below, since Turner often films his pick-ups:
Officers from Newnan Police Department answered the call to come investigate (you can see them visiting in timelapse in at the end of the video), and also checked out the market at which the games were bought, but it was clear this wasn’t a fresh transaction; those drugs had been in there a while if they’d found their way to a market.
Interestingly, while poking around his circumstances online, Julian learned of another copy of Golf that a collector had found to be stuffed with $5000 (£3,500) in bills dating back to 1985.
Have we stumbled, 30 years later, on the remains of an old Golf-related drug smuggling ring operating between the United States and Europe in the 1980s, which these specific carts somehow found their way out of?
I wonder how that happened. Maybe there was an innocent mix-up at some drug dealers home, whose kid already owned a copy of Golf. Which then led to a tense 1986 standoff at Brussels airport, as a burly man with a thick moustache opened a NES game expecting drugs and instead found...a NES game.
Meanwhile these drugs have just been chilling inside old cartridges for 30 years, waiting for Julian to open them...