Baltimore - Customs and Border Protection officers at Baltimore-Washington International Airport arrested Baltimore resident Suleiman Zakaria on Tuesday after allegedly smuggling nearly seven pounds of heroin in a suitcase.
Zakaria, 26, had just returned from Ghana shortly after 6 p.m. when a roving CBP officer referred him for a secondary examination. CBP officers routinely staff the passenger arrivals area and randomly select passengers for secondary examinations.
CBP officers discovered 3.08 kilograms, or six pounds, 13 ounces of heroin in hidden in a false bottom of a suitcase Zakaria allegedly possessed. CBP officers also seized $5,980 Zakaria possessed. The heroin has a wholesale value of up to $430,000.
"This seizure significantly illustrates CBP's multi-layered approach to combating narcotics smuggling in the international passenger environment," said Stephen Dearborn, CBP acting port director for the Port of Baltimore. "Our officers frequently rely on technology to target smuggling trends and detect concealment methods, but this seizure shows that officer intuition remains one of our most potent enforcement tools."
Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents took Zakaria into custody.
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.