Neal and Peter are surprised when the Undersecretary of Asian Affairs asks for their help in an international matter. It seems an American college student named Christopher Harlowe is being held in a Burmese prison, accused of attempting to smuggle a "pigeon blood" ruby out of Burma. The State Department thinks the charges are trumped up, but relations with the Burmese government are tenuous. The only way to free Christopher will be to find the real smuggler, who may be in Manhattan. But Neal and Peter will have to work quickly; Christopher is due for sentencing in one week, and once the decision is handed down it will be nearly impossible to overturn.
It doesn't take long for Neal to locate the dealer selling the smuggled stone. Under pressure from Peter, the dealer holds a trunk show of exquisite gems, including another pigeon blood fabricated by Neal and Mozzie. Sure enough, the smuggler shows, and when the team takes him into custody he confirms their suspicions - he's never seen Christopher in his life.
Eager to get Christopher released, the FBI turns the smuggler over to the Burmese ambassador. However, under the ambassador's influence, the smuggler changes his story and names Christopher as his accomplice! It seems the Burmese government is determined to make an example of Christopher. And with no jurisdictional powers, Neal and Peter are going to have to get creative if they want to bring Christopher home.