Jamaica, N.Y. - Customs and Border Protection officers arrested an alleged narcotics smuggler at JFK Airport on Tuesday, November 22, 2011. The arrest was made possible by the keen senses of a K-9 unit trained to detect the illicit substances.
Dayanet Rodriguez of Corona, New York arrived Tuesday morning from Santiago, Dominican Republic and was arrested by CBP officers for allegedly smuggling approximately 22 pounds of cocaine into the United States.
The narcotics were discovered in three checked bags that she claimed as her own. CBP officers examined her luggage after a specially trained drug-detecting dog alerted to her baggage. Officers checked the bags and upon further inspection found a white powdery substance concealed within the bag's sides. That substance tested positive for cocaine.
"The K-9 units we use are just another tool CBP implements in our multi-layered approach to enforcement," said Robert E. Perez, Director of CBP's New York Field Operations. "The handlers and the dog train together constantly, to be prepared for these very scenarios."
The seized narcotics have an approximate street value of more than $700,000.
Rodriguez 32, was placed under arrest and turned over to agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations. She now faces federal narcotics smuggling charges and will be prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York.
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.