A diamante-encrusted horse head statue full of cocaine and a manhunt that went on for more than a year: Henry Anchondo's case has all the makings of a bad movie.
Today at the High Court in Auckland, Anchondo admitted his part in a bungled attempt to get the cocaine in order to sell it on.
Anchondo flew into New Zealand on a US passport in June 2016.
Under the name 'David', he had been put in touch with fellow US passport holder Ronald Cook Senior, and Mexican Agustin Suarez-Juarez.
According to the police summary of facts read out in court today, the meeting took place at the Crowne Plaza hotel, where Cook and Suarez-Juarez had a room.
Cook met Anchondo in the lobby and took him up to the room, but the deal never happened.
Initially everything had gone to plan - a diamante encrusted horse's head weighing 336kg had been sent from Mexico to an address at a storage warehouse in Mangere. Inside were 35 packets of cocaine, 1kg each.
Nearly three weeks later Cook and Suarez-Juarez landed in the country and rented a house in the West Auckland suburb of Te Atatu.
They flew out to Hawai'i and returned to the country almost a month later on 30 June.
Cook and Suarez-Juarez bought power tools to break open the horse head and get the cocaine.
The meet with Anchondo was scheduled the following day.
But police and customs officers had been watching the whole time.
Police had replaced the cocaine with 35 packets of rice risotto. One of the packages also had a tracking device hidden inside.
Investigators and Customs officers had been watching the storage shed. They had installed listening devices in the Te Atatu house and had also been watching Cook and Suarez-Juarez while the pair travelled around Auckland.
Cook and Suarez-Juarez took five of the packages to the room they booked at the Crowne Plaza for the meeting with Anchondo.
The cocaine had a street value of between $1.25 million and $2m.
Unfortunately for them, one of the packages they took was the one with the tracking device in it.
Anchondo tuned up to the Crowne Plaza with a black sports bag.
Upstairs in the hotel room they opened one of the packages - it was the package with the tracking device in it.
The three men panicked and ran.
Cook and Suarez-Juarez dumped the package with the tracker in the hotel carpark and returned the other four to the house in Te Atatu before heading out to the airport.
They were arrested in the departure lounge.
Anchondo disappeared. He somehow made his way to Whangarei where he wasn't arrested until September last year.
Four months before he was arrested, Cook and Suarez-Juarez went on trial at the High Court in Auckland. Cook told the jurors he knew that what he was involved in was dodgy but he believed the packages contained cash.
The father of six said he agreed to take part in the scheme because he needed a new roof for his house in Hawai'i and he had no money.
The jurors rejected his story and found him guilty.
Cook was sentenced to 17 years and 9 months in prison, while Suarez-Juarez was jailed for 19 years and 9 months.
Anchondo will be sentenced in August.