Sterling, VA - A U.S. Customs and Border Protection canine unit discovered 21 ounces of cocaine concealed in an airline cabin panel about 4:30 p.m. Thursday at Washington-Dulles International Airport.
CBP narcotics detector dog Rex alerted during a routine enforcement sweep of Avianca Airlines flight 286 after passengers and crew deplaned. A CBP officer found a loosened overhead panel and discovered two wrapped bricks concealed behind the panel. Field tests proved positive for the presence of cocaine.
Additional CBP officers, with the assistance of an airline mechanic, conducted a complete sweep of the aircraft, but found no additional narcotics. The Avianca Airlines flight originated in Bogota, Colombia.
The 607.7 grams, or 1 pound, 5 ounces, of cocaine has an estimated street value of around $40,000.
"This cocaine seizure illustrates the significant role that Customs and Border Protection detector dogs play in stopping illicit narcotics at our nation's ports of entry," said Christopher Hess, CBP port director for the Port of Washington. "Law enforcement often uses the analogy of cat and mouse to describe our efforts to discover narcotics networks' concealment methods, but it's been my experience that detector dogs trump both."
No arrests were made.
CBP routinely conducts random inspection operations at our nation's 328 ports of entry searching for narcotics, currency, weapons and other prohibited or illicit products.
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.