CBP Arrests Camden Woman with Cocaine Concealed in Shoes
PHILADEPHIA—Nancy Sinatra popularized a song about boots being made for walking; a Camden, N.J. woman is singing the blues after Customs and Border Protection officers at Philadelphia International Airport Wednesday discovered that her shoes were made for smuggling cocaine.
CBP officers arrested Iveliza Tuhanna Perez, 25, of Camden, N.J., and turned her over to Philadelphia Police Department officers. The Philadelphia District Attorney is prosecuting Perez on charges of Possession with Intent to Distribute and Knowing and Intentional Possession.
Perez arrived on a flight from Montego Bay, Jamaica, about 4:30 p.m., and CBP officers referred her to a routine secondary examination. During a baggage examination, CBP officers discovered that three pairs of ladies cork wedge shoes were unusually heavy and an x-ray detected anomalies inside the sole and heel of all six shoes. CBP officers probed one shoe from each pair and discovered a white powdery substance that field-tested positive for cocaine.
The combined cocaine weighed 4 pounds, 7 ounces, and has an approximate street value of about $140,000.
"We know that narcotics smuggling organizations employ a wide variety of creative concealment methods to transport their illicit narcotics into the United States, and so Customs and Border Protection officers must remain steadfast in our mission to intercept their deadly poison before it hurts our communities, families and friends," said Allan Martocci, CBP port director for the Area Port of Philadelphia.
"We want potential drug couriers to know that it's not so easy to just walk through Philadelphia International Airport with narcotics," said Martocci.
During fiscal year 2012, CBP officers at the Port of Philadelphia recorded five cocaine seizures with a combined weight of nearly 576 pounds. The two most significant seizures last year included:
- 385 pounds of cocaine July 9, 2012 that was concealed inside the panels of a pick-up truck that was barged from Puerto Rico to Petty's Island, N.J.; and
- 130 pounds of cocaine in a duffel bag left on the baggage belt at Philadelphia International Airport January 7, 2012.
In addition to narcotics interdiction, CBP routinely conducts inspection operations on arriving and departing international flights and intercepts currency, weapons, prohibited agriculture products or other illicit items.
Travelers are encouraged to visit CBP's Travel website to learn rules governing travel to and from the U.S.
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.