New York - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at John F. Kennedy Airport found more than dirty laundry during a baggage inspection last Thursday, when they discovered nearly $300,000 in fake U.S. currency.
CBP officers stopped Karol Andrea Chilito Solarte after she arrived on a flight from Medellin, Colombia. During a search of her baggage, officers noticed an unusual thickness in the bottom of her suitcases. After further inspection, 46 packages of counterfeit U.S. 100-dollar bills were discovered at the bottom of her bags. The entire batch of fake bills totaled just under $300,000.
"CBP officers protect the homeland in many ways." said Robert E. Perez, CBP director of field operations in New York. "Our officers are always on the lookout for items that can harm our communities; in this case it was counterfeit currency."
CBP officers arrested Chilito Solarte, a 29-year-old Colombian citizen and turned her over to the agents of the U.S. Secret Service. She will be prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York.
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.