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CBP Officers at JFK Seize $700,000 in Heroin

Release Date: 
July 13, 2010

Jamaica, N.Y. -A citizen of Ghana has been charged with attempting Saturday to smuggle more than 22 pounds of heroin into John F. Kennedy International Airport from Abidjan, Ivory Coast via Casablanca, Morocco.

On July 10, Charles Kankam arrived from Casablanca, Morocco on Royal Air Morocco flight 200. He intended to visit an address in Piscataway, NJ.

While conducting a random exam of the flight, one of CBP's canines alerted to Kankam's luggage. During an interview, Kankam was hesitant with his answers and provided inconsistent explanations. Upon examining his luggage, CBP officers noticed a strong odor, subsequently discovering a false bottom. The second bag also contained a false bottom.

When searched, both bags revealed a powdery substance which tested positive for heroin. Kankam was placed under arrest. A total of more than 10 kilograms of heroin with a street value of over $700,000 was seized.

"The men and women of the CBP remain professional and diligent while conducting critical enforcement exams, keeping our nation safe and free of illicit contraband," said Robert E. Perez, CBP's New York field office director. "This seizure is an example of their dedication and vigilance."

Kankam has been referred for possible federal prosecution.

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 official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.

Last modified: 
February 3, 2021