St. John’s — A seemingly innocent monkey who gained cult popularity on social media has been arrested at St. John’s International Airport on charges of smuggling and aggravated assault.
Barney “Snuggles” Murphy was arrested on Monday after he could no longer maintain his cover as a stuffed animal, and attempted to escape WestJet custody with about $500,000 in smuggled cocaine.
“Apparently Murphy attempted to hitch a ride overseas with a family, but was foiled when a well-intentioned WestJet employee confiscated him,” outlined Royal Newfoundland Constabulary Inspector Mark Power.
“The employee posted his picture on social media and kept him at the gate under their supervision hoping to find the ‘monkey’s’ owner.”
Murphy’s picture was shared more than 15,000 times by people all over the country, in hopes of finding the person who supposedly owns him. After several days of little sleep and sneaking food, the smuggler broke character and decided to make a run for it.
“One of the balloons ruptured and the leaking drugs caused Murphy to ‘go wild,'” recounted RNC Inspector Power.
“The suspect leaped off of the counter and made a break for the airport doors. A security guard attempted to stop him, and Murphy leaped at his face and started biting. In the end, it took three guards to subdue him.”
The guard did not suffer any permanent injuries due to the suspect’s teeth being plush. After receiving medical attention to recover the drug evidence, Murphy is now awaiting trial on the counter at the RNC detachment.