Jamaica, NY - A Customs and Border Protection Agriculture Specialist, conducting an examination of passenger arriving from Peru at John F. Kennedy International Airport on May 5, discovered 16 pounds of cocaine hidden in various parts of the woman's luggage.
The woman presented nine checked pieces of luggage for inspection. The CBPAS discovered various aluminum mugs that all felt unusually heavy. He referred the passenger to the Counter-Terrorism Response Rover Team for further examination.
This more in-depth probe of the mugs produced a white powdery substance, which tested positive for cocaine. The passenger was placed under arrest by the accompanying CBP officer and during the subsequent exam, cocaine was found in books, pocket books and serving trays.
The actual total weight of cocaine seized from all of the goods searched during this inspection was 16 lbs, 12 oz., with an approximate value of $187,000. The subject claimed that on prior trips abroad she had transported merchandise on behalf of her friends; however she claimed she was unaware of the contents of the merchandise she was transporting. The woman was traveling with her 8 and 10 year-old sons.
New York Field Operations Director, Robert E. Perez said, "I applaud these officers serving on the front line and their vigilance in intercepting and seizing this drug load." Perez further said, "Our officers work continuously and tirelessly to prevent these types of dangerous drugs from entering our country and our communities. This is just the latest example of CBP securing our nation's borders."
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.