STERLING, Va., – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at Washington Dulles International Airport seized over one and a half pounds of cocaine from a Honduran woman Wednesday that was concealed inside caramelized sugar cane sweets.
The woman, who requested entry as a courier on business, arrived on a flight from El Salvador. As a courier, she was referred for a routine secondary examination to have her packages inspected. These inspections ensure that the contents comply with all customs, agriculture and other laws.
Among other things she was carrying, CBP officers discovered a brown cone shaped package wrapped in cellophane. The woman stated they were caramelized sugar cane sweets originating in Honduras. A CBP officer probed one of the sweets with a knife and discovered a white, powdery substance on the blade that field-tested positive for cocaine. CBP officers inspected the rest of the sweets and were able to extract the cocaine from all eight pieces. The total weight of the cocaine was slightly less than 1 pound, 10 ounces. This cocaine could have a street value of more than $80,000.
“Customs and Border Protection officers at Washington Dulles International Airport have proven to be exceptionally skilled at discovering unique concealment methods, and this seizure is illustrative of that skill,” said Wayne Biondi, CBP port director for the Port of Washington. “CBP officers remain ever vigilant at intercepting illicit narcotics before it can hurt our families and communities.”
After extensive interviews, authorities were satisfied that she was a courier. After completion of her immigration processing by CBP she was returned abroad the same day and is barred from returning to the U.S. for a minimum of five years.
“Every day at Washington Dulles International Airport we welcome thousands of legitimate business travelers to the United States,” said Biondi. “But this is one type of business that we just can’t allow into the U.S.”
During fiscal year 2013, which spans Oct. 1, 2012 through Sept. 30, 2013, CBP officers at Washington Dulles International Airport intercepted a little more than 12 pounds of cocaine in four seizures.
For more on CBP’s border security mission, visit the Ports of Entry section of the CBP website.