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CBP at JFK Seizes Cocaine in Wheel Chair

Release Date: 
June 13, 2017

U. S. Customs and Border Protection Officers Catch Cocaine inside Back Seat Cushion

JAMAICA, N.Y. — U. S. Customs and Border Protection Officers at John F. Kennedy International Airport ‘disabled’ this alleged smuggler from rolling into the United States with a load of cocaine.

On June 11, CBP officers stopped Ms. Yoncela Stanley, a United States citizen, who was arriving on a flight from St. Lucia. During the course of the inspection, CBP officers noticed that the back seat cushion of her wheel chair appeared unusual. The back seat cushion was removed and felt unusually heavy. CBP officers probed the cushion producing a white powder that tested positive for cocaine. Ms. Stanley was arrested for the importation of a controlled substance and was turned over to Homeland Security Investigations.

The total weight of cocaine seized was approximately 27 lbs. with an estimated street value of $468,000.

“This latest seizure demonstrates the vigilance of our CBP officers, and their excellence in detecting those who would try to smuggle these illegal substances,” said Leon Hayward, Acting Director, Field Operations New York.

Ms. Stanley 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 until proven guilty.

Last modified: 
February 3, 2021