Sterling, Va. - Customs and Border Protection officers at Washington-Dulles International Airport seized nearly 12 pounds of heroin, worth an estimated $375,000, and arrested a Ghanaian citizen Dec. 3.
According to court documents, CBP officers arrested Sana Musah Sulemana, 61, of Ghana, after officers discovered 5,315 grams, or a little more than 11 pounds, 11 ounces, of heroin concealed behind the lining of a suitcase. The heroin was allegedly destined for New York.
CBP officers turned Sulemana over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations agents. The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia is prosecuting Sulemana.
"Customs and Border Protection officers take very seriously our mission to intercept illicit narcotics at our nation's borders before the deadly poison can harm our families, friends or neighbors," said Christopher Hess, CBP port director for the Port of Washington. "Any day that we can remove 12 pounds of dangerous narcotics from circulation is a good day."
"Public safety is one of ICE's major priorities and we will continue working closely with CBP and our federal partners to stop drug smuggling operations that use our airports to bring their illicit products into the U.S.," said ICE HSI special agent in charge of the Washington field office John P. Torres.
Sulemana arrived from Ghana shortly after 6 a.m., Dec. 3, and was referred to a secondary inspection.
CBP officers allegedly discovered that the lining of Sulemana's suitcase appeared to have been tampered. Court records state that CBP officers then discovered a wrapped package that contained a brown, powdery substance that field-tested positive for heroin.
CBP placed a detainer on Sulemana to be returned to CBP upon adjudication of his charges.
CBP routinely conducts random inspection operations on arriving and departing international passengers and intercepts narcotics, currency, weapons and other prohibited or illicit products.
The charges and allegations contained in criminal complaints are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) 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.
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.