Sterling, Va. - A Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer's instinct and a CBP K-9's nose landed a Pennsylvania man and his dopey soup in hot water at the Washington-Dulles International Airport on Thursday night.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested Jose Acevedo, 41, of Carlisle, Penn., early this morning after CBP officers discovered 1,965 grams of cocaine, about four pounds, five ounces, concealed inside various powdered soup mix packages.
The cocaine has an estimated wholesale value of about $52,000 and a street value of up to $140,000.
Acevedo is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.
Acevedo arrived aboard TACA Airlines flight 580 from El Salvador at about 9:30 p.m. Thursday. A CBP officer referred Acevedo for a secondary inspection. During that luggage inspection, CBP K-9 Demi alerted positive to the presence of narcotics. CBP officers then discovered the soup mix packets stuffed with a white powdery substance that field-tested positive for cocaine.
"This cocaine seizure is an excellent example of how U. S. Customs and Border Protection relies on experienced officers and well-trained narcotics detector dogs to stem the flow of illicit drugs at Washington-Dulles International Airport," said Christopher Hess, CBP Port Director for the Port of Washington.
Some of the cocaine packets still contained rice.
"Narcotics smuggling networks take extreme measures to conceal their deadly poison," said Hess. "Each time we uncover a unique concealment method we force these dangerous networks to change tactics. Keeping these two kilos of cocaine off our streets is one more small battle we can claim as a victory."
CBP officers are experienced at detecting the soup mix narcotics concealment method.
On Feb. 28, 2009, CBP officers discovered about 16 pounds of cocaine stuffed inside chicken soup mix packets. ICE agents arrested Jorge Posada Guevara and Hidsar Henriques-Parada in that seizure.
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.