US flag Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

Archived Content

In an effort to keep current, the archive contains content from a previous administration or is otherwise outdated.

Customs and Border Protection Officers Arrest Former Major League Baseball Player with Over Six Pounds of Cocaine

Release Date: 
July 7, 2011

Jamaica, N.Y. - Customs and Border Protection Officers (CBP) at JFK Airport intercept a 21 year old man attempting to smuggle over six pounds of cocaine in his luggage. The bag he was carrying contained four pairs of sneakers with narcotics concealed within the soles.

Cocaine hidden inside shoes

Photo Credit:Photo courtesy of Customs and Border Protection

On June 29th, CBP officers at JFK stopped Mr. Cristian Vasquez Martinez, who arrived on a flight from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic for an enforcement exam. Mr. Martinez's visa information indicated that he was a prospect for the Tampa Bay Rays. Further inspection revealed that he was released by the team deeming his visa invalid. Upon examination of Mr. Martinez's luggage, CBP officers discovered four pairs of sneakers, which were unusually heavy. A more intrusive exam of the sneakers produced a white powdery substance that field-tested positive for cocaine.

"CBP officers in the New York area remain vigilant in their efforts to combat the illicit trade of narcotics," stated Robert E. Perez, Director, Office of Field Operations, New York Field Office. "These highly skilled officers are committed to their mission of protecting our nation's communities."

The narcotics seized during this inspection carried a street value over $138,000.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017