Cartagena, Columbia---Food and Drug Administration task enforcer Phillip Reinhart announced early this morning that his hard working team had finally captured legendary cronut smuggler and New York City native Fred Dietrich after an exhaustive 18-month manhunt.
"We got him!" Reinhart announced to thunderous applause during a press conference at Rafael Nunez International Airport in Cartagena, Columbia.
Working closely with the DEA and the U.S. Customs Department, Reinhart commented on the challenges to find the elusive cronut criminal.
"We had no idea how to go about this manhunt. It was foreign to us. I don't know about international customs or airport procedures for tracking criminals. We spend the majority of our time in kitchens pissing off chefs or with pharmaceutical reps. I spend hours of my day just sorting through crates of boring paperwork."
The manhunt for the elusive, cronut kingpin Dietrich took Reinhart and his team from back alleys of donut shops in Casablanca, New Zealand, China, and Australia. The search began in May 2012 at the famous Dominique Ansel Bakery in New York City.
Reinhart was working off of a tip from Frank Cosella, a morbidly obese New York expatriate living in the Columbian seaside city of Barranquilla. Cosella had gained 200lbs from eating 3 cronuts a day over a 6 month time period. Cosella befriended Dietrich on line at a coffee shop in Barranquilla. They became fast friends and Cosella would often hang out at the compound where Dietrich was baking the delicious delicacy. Speaking to reporters, Cosella explained why he decided to work with the FDA to nab his onetime friend.
"Dietrich was supplying me with a dozen cronuts a day. I left New York because of my cronut addiction, and I was prepared to do anything to stop the highly addictive pastry from destroying my life and to keep it from spreading throughout South America."
Reinhart thanked cronut inventor and chef Dominique Ansel for his cooperation in finding Dietrich. ?"Chef Ansel faxed me a copy of the recipe. We matched it with the one that Cosella brought to us, and started tailing him. We had to be patient though. We knew eventually he would smuggle dozens of cronuts back to the U.S, it was just a matter of when."
Apparently, Dietrich had been laying low in Columbia for quite some time after getting his hands on Ansel's recipe. Just before 7 A.M CST, before the morning commute into Cartagena, Reinhart and his team seized over 100 chocolate covered glazed cronuts that were stashed in Dietrich's bulging black suitcase. The task force consisted of Reinhart, along with eight cronut-sniffing German Shepards, seven DEA snipers, two DEA consulting agents, a few FDA agents on Reinhart's team contributing nothing to the job, and most importantly, Becky Cranson, an employee at Ansel's bakery in New York City. Cranson was on hand to confirm that the stash was indeed authentic cronuts baked from Ansel's recipe.
Dietrich was dressed inconspicously without a chef's hat, waiting to board a Jet Blue flight back to Laguardia Airport. He was wearing ripped jeans and a T-shirt with the "I Love NY" logo on it.
Reinhart chuckled when commenting on Dietrich's capture. "He looked drowsy, could barely keep his eyes open. He could have used a Columbian iced coffee and a cronut right at Gate 33 where we found him. He won't be getting either of those in the slammer."
The cronut, invented by pastry chef Dominique Ansel has quickly become one of the most popular pastries ever. Long lines form at Ansel's bakery in downtown Manhattan. The part-croissant, part-donut pastry quickly sells out, which prompted the rise of a black market with sales of cronuts reaching $100 on craigslist.
After nabbing Dietrich, Reinhart went on to explain his own desire for the popular pastry. "I knew right away, even before the dogs." Reinhart exclaimed with infectious enthusiasm. "The aroma of a cronut is intoxicating and I had to walk away because I had a strong impulse to grab a few of them for my family. My wife and daughter are both cronut lovers."
Bail has been set at 2 million dollars. Dietrich will be charged with numerous crimes, including cronut smuggling, money laundering, evading arrest, and for improper chef attire. Reinhart will seek the maximum sentence of 25 years to life in prison without the possibility of parole.