Dulles CBP Arrests New Yorker on Heroin Charges
STERLING, VA.—Less than two weeks after arresting an alleged Nigerian heroin smuggler at Washington Dulles International Airport, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers arrested a New York man returning from Nigeria on heroin smuggling allegations Thursday.
According to court documents, Customs and Border Protection officers referred Michael Babatunde Ayodele, 19, from Queens, N.Y., for a secondary inspection after Ayodele arrived Jan. 16 aboard a flight from Nigeria via Kenya and Zurich, Switzerland. During his secondary inspection, CBP officers detected inconsistencies in his story about allegedly visiting family in Nigeria. Ayodele requested to use the restroom during this inspection, and reportedly passed 55 thumb-sized pellets that field-tested positive for heroin. CBP officers then transported Ayodele to a local hospital where Ayodele passed an additional 31 pellets, which also field-tested positive for heroin.
The 86 pellets had a combined weight of 1,089 grams, or more than 2 pounds, 6 ounces, and an approximate street value of about $78,000.
The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia is prosecuting Ayodele.
CBP officers arrested Ayodele 13 days after they arrested Nigerian Adekunle Titus Adetokunbo, 61, for attempting to smuggle 446 grams, or nearly 16 ounces of heroin from Nigeria via Ghana Jan. 6. For more on that arrest, please access our news release.
"These continuing heroin smuggling attempts from Africa raise serious concern for Customs and Border Protection officers," said Christopher Hess, CBP Port Director for the Port of Washington, D.C. "We're hopeful that these arrests send a strong signal that CBP officers are proving successful at detecting internal concealment methods, and that we're serious about intercepting this deadly poison before it can reach our communities."
CBP officers turned Ayodele and the suspected heroin over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents. ICE HSI agents continue their investigation.
CBP routinely conducts random inspection operations on arriving and departing passengers searching for narcotics, currency, weapons and other prohibited or illicit products.
The charges and allegations contained in the criminal complaints are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
CBP placed a detainer on Ayodele for him to be returned to CBP upon adjudication of his charges.
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.