STERLING, Va., – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations (OFO) at Washington Dulles International Airport seized more than nine pounds of heroin from a Guatemalan man Friday that was concealed inside plastic bags labeled as oatmeal powder.
The man, who requested entry as a courier on business, arrived on a flight from Guatemala. As a courier, he was referred for a routine secondary examination to have his packages inspected. These inspections ensure that the contents comply with all customs, agriculture and other laws.
In secondary, a CBP narcotics detection canine alerted to the presence of a controlled substance in his luggage. Among other things he was carrying, CBP officers discovered nine plastic bags labeled as oatmeal powder. Instead of oatmill powder, the bags contained a brown powdery substance that field-tested positive for heroin. The total weight of the heroin was 9 pounds, 4 ounces and could have a street value of approximately $296,000.
“CBP officers remain ever vigilant at intercepting illicit narcotics before they have the potential to harm our families and communities,” said Wayne Biondi, CBP Area Port Director for the Port of Washington.
After extensive interviews with the courier, authorities were satisfied that he was an unwitting accomplice and so he was not criminally prosecuted. However, CBP found him inadmissible and processed him as an expedited removal barring his return to the U.S. for a minimum of five years.
“Every day at Washington Dulles International Airport we welcome thousands of legitimate business travelers to the United States,” said Biondi. “But this is one type of business that we just can’t allow into the U.S.”
The Privacy Act prohibits releasing the man’s name since he was not criminally charged.
On average, CBP seizes 10,327 pounds of drugs a day at and between our 328 U. S. ports of entry nationwide. In addition to narcotics interdiction, CBP conducts inspection operations and intercepts currency, weapons, prohibited agriculture products and other illicit items.
Learn how CBP conducts our border security mission at our nation’s Ports of Entry.
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.