JAMAICA, N.Y.—In two separate incidents over the February 11th weekend, U. S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at New York's JFK Airport arrested individuals for allegedly smuggling cocaine.
On Saturday, February 11, Jose Rodriguez of Brooklyn, N.Y., was returning to the U.S. from Santiago, Dominican Republic. Rodriguez, 24, presented himself and his checked bags for inspection. Upon further examination, officers discovered a white powdery substance that tested positive for cocaine. Rodriguez was arrested and a total of 14.8 pounds of cocaine was seized.
On Sunday, February 12, Samuel Prashad of Jamaica, N.Y., arrived off of a flight from Georgetown, Guyana. During an inspection of his checked luggage, CBP officers discovered a white powdery substance that tested positive for cocaine. Prashad was placed under arrest and 11.8 pounds of cocaine was seized.
The total weight of the seized narcotics was 26.6 pounds and had an approximate street value of over $850,000.
"CBP Officers demonstrate their dedication to our mission and agency core values of vigilance, integrity and service in an exemplary manner," said Robert E. Perez, Director of New York Field Operations.
Both men were turned over to agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations. They now face federal narcotics smuggling charges and will be prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office in the U.S. Eastern District Court of New York.
All defendants are considered innocent until proven guilty.
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.