A recent Springfield, Massachusetts police bust has given a new name to designer drugs. Springfield police seized over 3,000 bags of heroin in a drug raid in the western New England town on Wednesday following a “lengthy investigation into the illegal sale of heroin from that address.” Springfield Police Sgt. John Delaney confirmed the bust, and noted that each bag of heroin was stamped with the words “Al Bruno” and the face of the late Massachusetts mobster. Additionally, some bags were branded with the Louis Vuitton logo.
Delaney said detectives seized 3,070 bags of heroin, $2,170 in cash, a Smith & Wesson .38 cal revolver fully loaded, and drug paraphernalia, and arrested Jose Mendez, 18, who was residing at the address.
This is not the first time Louis Vuitton’s intellectual property has been used to brand drugs. The Paris-based design house’s name and Monogram Toile trademark has been reported as adorning MDMA pills in the United Kingdom. Moreover, in November 2014, when the Canadian Border Services Agency seized the third-highest stash of cocaine in Atlantic Canada's history – 459 kilograms of drugs in the Port of Halifax – the drugs were found to be separated into over 400 bricks wrapped in plastic branded with "Louis Vuitton" logos.
Still yet, American artist Jonathan Paul – who goes by the name Desire Obtain Cherish – paid homage to the brand with his 2013 work, entitled, “Designer Drugs Four Pack.” Hermès, Yves Saint Laurent, and Chanel intellectual property was also included of the collection of works, which spoke to the concept of a “shopper’s high” by featuring luxury brand logos on pill packets, according to Paul, who is known for “merging street, pop, conceptual, and appropriation art, and for satirizing status symbols and revealing a commerce-driven social conscience.”