Dulles CBP Scores Record Internal Narcotics Seizure
STERLING, VA.—In what local Customs and Border Protection officials report is a record largest heroin internal seizure here, officers arrested a Nigerian woman Saturday on suspicion of ingesting 180 pellets, nearly five combined pounds of heroin, in a smuggling attempt at Washington Dulles International Airport.
According to court documents, Bola Adebisi, 52, arrived Wednesday from Nigeria aboard Ethiopian Airlines flight 500. During a secondary inspection, Adebisi told CBP officers that she intended to stay with her brother, but allegedly was unable to provide officers with her brother's address, phone number, or a physical description. A female CBP officer, while conducting a routine patdown, discovered that Adebisi's stomach was abnormally rigid. An X-ray at a local hospital detected the presence of foreign bodies in her abdomen. At the time the affidavit was submitted for criminal charges, Adebisi had passed a number of pellets that had a combined weight exceeding 100 grams.
According to CBP records, Adebisi remained in the hospital and expelled the remainder of the pellets until X-rays Saturday night confirmed that she was clear of any remaining pellets. The 180 thumb-sized pellets contained a combined weight of 2,157 grams, or 4 pounds, 12 ounces. The heroin has an approximate street value of about $150,000.
This seizure represents the most number of pellets and the greatest combined weight of any ingested concealment method in the Port of Washington, D.C. The previous largest internal pellet seizure at Dulles occurred March 30, 2011 when Yomade Aborishade, 46, of Lagos, Nigeria was arrested after expelling 100 pellets of heroin with a combined weight of a little more than four pounds.
"The amount of pellets and heroin this woman ingested is incredible, a serious health risk, and very troubling if these numbers become the new normal," said Christopher Hess, CBP Port Director for the Port of Washington, D.C. "We're hopeful that this arrest sends a strong signal that CBP officers are proving to be successful at detecting internal concealment methods, and that we remain committed to working with our law enforcement partners and intercepting this deadly poison before it can reach our communities."
Customs and Border Protection officers turned Adebisi over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations agents.
The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia is prosecuting Adebisi.
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 Adebisi for her to be returned to CBP upon adjudication of her charges.