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Nepal: Drugs smuggled into US inside prayer wheels

KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) – Police in Nepal have arrested a U.S. man who allegedly was in a ring that smuggled illegal drugs into the United States by concealing them in Buddhist prayer wheels and metal bowls and sending them via Federal Express.

Police narcotics official Navraj Silwal says Kristian Peter Stiegler, 45, was detained while trying to send 2.5 pounds (1.14 kilograms) of hashish and 2 pounds (900 grams) of suspected opium. If tests confirm the opium, Stiegler could face up to 20 years in prison.

However, Silwal says Stiegler will likely get a lighter sentence because he is cooperating in the investigation into the alleged drug ring.

Silwal says Stiegler has lived in Nepal and India for three years and is suspected of sending several drug shipments.

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