Dulles CBP Arrests Guatemalan Courier, Allegedly Finds 2 Pounds of Cocaine Concealed inside Shampoo Bottles
STERLING, VA.—U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers arrested a Guatemalan courier and intercepted nearly two pounds of alleged cocaine concealed inside shampoo bottles at Washington Dulles International Airport June 28.
CBP officers arrested Eric Eduardo Estacuy Juarez, 39, and turned him over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents. He has been charged with 21 USC 960(a)(1), knowingly or intentionally importing a controlled substance.
According to court records, Estacuy Juarez arrived at Washington Dulles International Airport on a flight from Guatemala through Panama and was referred to a routine secondary examination as is policy for arriving couriers. During that examination CBP officers discovered three bottles of shampoo that allegedly appeared to be constructed with a double wall. CBP officers cut one of the bottles near the top and found what appeared to be a white powdery substance wrapped in cellophane that allegedly field-tested positive for the presence of cocaine. All three bottles had the same concealment method.
The combined cocaine weighed 911 grams, or a little more than two pounds. The cocaine has an approximate street value of about $60,000.
"U.S. Customs and Border protections wants this latest interception to be a clear message to nefarious narcotics organizations that smuggling their deadly poison through courier shipments has once again proven unsuccessful," said Christopher Hess, CBP port director for the Port of Washington, D.C. "If the bad guys try using courier shipments again, we plan to be waiting to intercept those parcels."
CBP officers discovered narcotics in six shipments carried by Guatemalan couriers during the last four months of 2012. The total weight of those six cocaine seizures was 29 pounds, 11 ounces.
The last narcotics interception involving a Guatemalan courier at Washington Dulles occurred Dec. 15, 2012, when CBP officers intercepted a little more than two pounds of cocaine concealed inside the double-wall of stew jars. For more information about this interception, please visit the CBP Newsroom Web site article: Dulles CBP Finds Over 2 Lbs of Cocaine in Stew filled Jars.
The last time CBP officers encountered shampoo bottles used as a narcotics concealment method was March 1, when officers arrested Mehdi Moshirian, 63, of Pleasant Hill, Calif., with about five ounces of opium. For more information on this arrest, please visit the CBP Newsroom Web Site aticle: Shampoo Can't Hide California Man's Opium from Dulles CBP.
During fiscal year 2012, which ended Sept. 30, CBP officers seized 74 pounds of cocaine, a little more than 61 pounds of heroin, and about 13 pounds of marijuana.
CBP routinely conducts inspection operations on arriving and departing international passengers and cargo, and searches for terrorist weapons, illicit narcotics, unreported currency, counterfeit merchandise, and prohibited agriculture and other products.
For information on rules governing travel to and from the U.S., travelers are encouraged to visit CBP's Travel Web site.
To learn more about CBP's border security mission please visit the CBP Web site.
Criminal complaints are only charges and not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless 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.