Sterling, Va. - Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at Washington Dulles International Airport seized more than four pounds of cocaine hidden inside chocolate bars and drink boxes in a Guatemalan woman's luggage shortly after 11 p.m. Sunday.
Officers identified the woman as a legitimate courier. She was not charged criminally, but CBP officers removed her from the United States and she faces a five-year ban from returning to the United States.
The woman arrived on a flight from San Salvador, El Salvador, and presented herself as a traveler for business. A CBP officer referred her to a secondary inspection for a baggage exam. In her baggage, CBP officers discovered eight chocolate bars, six of which contained a cocaine center, and six small drink boxes that contained plastic bags filled with cocaine. Total weight of the cocaine was 1,877 grams, or four pounds, two ounces. The street value was approximately $130,000.
"Customs and Border Protection officers are very good at finding illicit substances concealed in novel ways," said Christopher Hess, CBP port director for the Port of Washington. "This narcotics seizure highlights the work of vigilant officers performing a thorough inspection and preventing this deadly poison from finding its way onto our community's streets."
Drug smuggling is a serious offense and violators risk being criminally charged.
CBP removed the woman in lieu of criminal charges. The Privacy Act prohibits releasing her name since she wasn't criminally charged.
"Every day at Dulles we welcome thousands of business travelers to the United States," said Hess. "But this is one type of business that doesn't belong here."
For more on CBP's border security mission at our nation's Ports of Entry, please visit the attached website.
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.