HOUSTON – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport intercepted a traveler attempting to smuggle 35 pounds of liquid cocaine in full-sized shampoo bottles, Nov. 11.
Among his clothing in is checked luggage, the traveler, a Colombian citizen, was carrying 24 bottles of shampoo that contained the illicit liquid narcotic valued at over $400,000.
“Our officers are the first line of defense at our ports of entry, so they are trained in the various smuggling methods people use to bring illicit goods into the U.S.,” said CBP Port Director Shawn Polley. “We take every opportunity to intercept those illicit goods before they enter our communities, in this case it was 35 pounds of liquid cocaine.”
CBP officers experience, training and intuition lead them to question the 26-year-old would-be smuggler as he retrieved his checked baggage from the luggage carousel. Officers questioned the passenger and that interaction led them to conduct a baggage exam where they discovered the two dozen shampoo bottles concealing the liquid cocaine.
When the officers discovered the full-sized shampoo bottles, they requested a CBP K9 to examine the bottles. The K9 alerted in a manner to indicate the presence of narcotics in the shampoo bottles. Officers then tested the contents and those results indicated the substance was cocaine.
CBP returned the would-be smuggler to Colombia and the narcotics were seized and turned over to the Houston Police Department for further investigation.
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 official ports of entry. CBP is charged with securing the borders of the United States while enforcing hundreds of laws and facilitating lawful trade and travel.