Vinegar, refried beans, olive oil among sundry items concealing narcotics
HOUSTON – U. S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at George Bush Intercontinental Airport intercepted an international traveler carrying more than 10 pounds of cocaine valued at more than $135,000, Sept. 21.
The international traveler, Ebberson Rolando Maldonado Trejo, 36, arrived to Houston from Guatemala and was enroute to New Jersey.
During an examination of Trejo’s baggage, CBP officers found bottles marked as vinegar, olive oil, face wash and three packages of refried beans. Upon closer examination of the items, CBP officers determined a scientific analysis of the items was warranted and turned over a sample of the items to CBP’s Southwest Regional Science Center, here. Within minutes, CBP scientists noted the substance inside the bottles and packages tested positive for cocaine.
“Our officers remain vigilant in disrupting criminal activity despite the concealment methods traffickers employ,” said Houston CBP Port Director Charles Perez. “We take every opportunity to apply our training, experience and leverage scientific advances to protect America’s frontline.”
CBP officers arrested Trejo, a Guatemalan citizen, and turned him over to Houston Police Department.
On a typical day in 2014, CBP officers around the country seized 10,327 pounds of drugs. Additional seizure information and statistics are available here.
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.