JAMAICA, N.Y. — An arriving passenger was ‘sniffed’ out by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection K-9 at John F. Kennedy International Airport trying to smuggle cocaine into the United States.
On July 15, CBP officers conducted a canine examination of luggage arriving from Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, when K-9 Ari alerted his CBP handler to a suspicious suitcase. Mr. Elkan Barak Durham, a United States citizen, claimed the suitcase and was escorted to a private search room where the suitcase was probed revealing a white powder that tested positive for cocaine.
Mr. Durham was arrested for the importation of a controlled substance and was turned over to Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). The total weight of cocaine seized was approximately 9 lbs. The approximate street value of the seized narcotic is $151,000.
“Cocaine is a dangerous narcotic, and CBP does its part in keeping these drugs off the streets.” said Robert E. Perez, Director of CBP’s New York Field Operations. “Our Officers are determined to protect the American people from these illicit substances.”
Elkan Barak Durham 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.