JAMAICA, N.Y. — An arriving passenger was arrested by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at John F. Kennedy International Airport trying to smuggle cocaine into the United States.
On April 20, Mr. Romano Zurlini, an Italian citizen, arrived at John F. Kennedy International Airport from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and presented himself for inspection. During the luggage examination, CBP officers noticed his backpack was unusually heavy when empty and its sides were unusually thick.
Mr. Zurini was subsequently escorted to a private search room where CBP officers probed the sides of the backpack revealing a white powder that tested positive for cocaine, an approximate gross weight of 6 lbs. of cocaine was seized.
“This seizure is another example of our CBP officers being ever vigilant in protecting the United States from the distribution of these illicit drugs,” said Robert E. Perez, Director of CBP’s New York Field Operations.
CBP officers placed Zurini under arrest and turned him over to Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). He 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.
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.