Officers seize nearly $70,000 in Cocaine from Passenger’s Suitcase
JAMAICA, N.Y. — A traveler had more than a snack in her suitcase when she arrived at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. Fortunately, U. S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers were there to stop her in her tracks.
On January 17, CBP officers intercepted passenger Ms. Chantal Alecia Bedward, a citizen of Jamaica, arriving from Kingston, Jamaica. During her examination, CBP officers discovered what appeared to be a box of Tastee Brand, Jamaican Beef Patties. CBP officers escorted Ms. Bedward to a private search room where the box of beef patties was opened revealing 12 duct-taped packages. The packages were probed producing a white powder that tested positive for cocaine.
Ms. Bedward was arrested for the importation of a controlled substance and was turned over to Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). The approximate gross weight of cocaine seized was 4 lbs.
“This seizure demonstrates the vigilance and dedication demonstrated daily by CBP officers at JFK, in keeping these prohibited and dangerous narcotics off the streets of our communities,” said Robert E. Perez, Director, Field Operations in New York for CBP.
The estimated street value of the seized narcotic is $70,000.
Ms. Bedward now faces 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 unless and 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.