BOSTON — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations officers arrested two Pennsylvania men Saturday at Logan International Airport on cocaine smuggling allegations.
CBP officers arrested Erick Dominguez-Santos, 25, of Whitehall, Pa., and Ezra Mendez, 19, of Allentown, Pa., after discovering a little more than 13 combined pounds of cocaine in their baggage, and turned them over to the Massachusetts State Police.
Dominguez-Santos and Mendez arrived on a flight from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and were separately selected for secondary examinations. During their baggage inspections, CBP officers detected that their rollerbag-type baggage remained heavy even after emptied of their contents, and that the bottom of the bags were unusually thick.
During an x-ray examination, CBP officers detected flat-rectangular anomalies in the baggage bottoms. Officers then probed the anomalies and discovered a white, powdery substance that field-tested positive for the properties of cocaine.
Each cocaine package weighed approximately 3 kilograms, or about 6.5 pounds. The cocaine has an approximate street value of about $400,000.
“Transnational criminal organizations employ many unique concealment methods to smuggle their deadly drugs into the United States, and Customs and Border Protection officers must remain vigilant to stop these attempts,” said Helen Sterling, CBP Assistant Director, Border Security, Boston Field Office. “We’re hopeful that these arrests send a strong message that CBP officers in Boston remain committed to intercepting illicit narcotics before it can reach our communities.”
CBP routinely conducts inspection operations on arriving and departing international flights and intercepts narcotics, weapons, currency, prohibited agriculture products, and other illicit items. On a typical day during 2015, CBP seized 9,435 pounds of illicit drugs at our nation’s 328 ports of entry. View CBP Snapshot to learn what else CBP achieves ‘On a Typical Day.’
Learn more about how CBP's Office of Field Operations secures our nation's borders at our nation’s Ports of Entry.
Criminal charges are merely allegations. Defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.
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.