Sterling, Va. - After a U.S. Customs and Border Protection narcotics detector dog alerted, officers discovered a little more than 18 pounds of cocaine concealed in the cargo hold of a commercial airplane that arrived Aug. 3 at Washington Dulles International Airport.
CBP canine Rex alerted during a routine inspection of an Avianca Airlines flight from Bogota, Colombia. Officers then discovered seven taped packages behind a cargo hold panel. The packages, which field-tested positive for cocaine, weighed approximately 18 pounds, 3.5 ounces. The cocaine has a street value of about $580,000.
Federal authorities continue investigating.
"Nefarious narcotics organizations continue to leverage all means to smuggle their deadly poison to the United States, even placing narcotics aboard unsuspecting commercial aircraft," said Christopher Hess, CBP port director for the Port of Washington, D.C. "Customs and Border Protection officers remain committed to intercepting these smuggling attempts through the use of detector dogs and routine compliance inspections on international aircraft, particularly those arriving from narcotics source nations."
In addition to narcotics interdiction, CBP routinely conducts random inspection operations on arriving and departing international flights and intercepts currency, weapons, prohibited agriculture products or other illicit items.
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.