Dulles CBP Seizes Cocaine Concealed in Courier's Belts
Sterling, Va. - After nearly a three-week break, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers recorded another cocaine seizure from parcels that a Guatemalan courier brought to Washington Dulles International Airport Thursday night.
CBP officers discovered the cocaine concealed inside five large belt-like items. Officers couldn't immediately separate the cocaine from the belts. Total combined weight of the leather and cocaine was 3,662 grams or a little more than eight pounds.
After extensive interviews, authorities released the man to return home to Guatemala. CBP officers barred him from returning to the U.S. for a minimum of five years.
This is the fifth cocaine interception of Guatemalan courier parcels in five weeks.
"We know that nefarious narcotics networks remain anxious and desperate to deliver their deadly product into the U.S. market. And so Customs and Border Protection will remain vigilant in our mission to intercept these illicit narcotics at our nation's borders and before they can reach our communities," said Christopher Hess, CBP Port Director for the Port of Washington, D.C. "Narcotics interdiction remains a priority border enforcement mission for Customs and Border Protection."
The courier arrived from Guatemala about 9 p.m. Thursday. Couriers are routinely referred for a secondary examination so that CBP officers can ensure the manifest matches the products the courier is bringing to the U.S., and to ensure that the products comply with all applicable customs, agriculture and other federal regulations.
In September, CBP officers intercepted four cocaine shipments that were concealed inside false second liners of plastic jars and in food products.
Sept. 15, CBP officers discovered cocaine secreted inside a false second lining of seven plastic containers that two Guatemalan couriers brought to Washington Dulles. The combined weight of plastic jars and cocaine measured about 5.7 kilograms, or 12 pounds, 10 ounces.
Sept. 22, CBP officers discovered cocaine inside two hard brown bricks labeled as "Dulce de Panela" which is a molasses-like, brown candy made of unrefined sugar, and in five packages of "Hilachas," a beef soup in another courier's packages. Total weight of the cocaine measured 2.6 kilograms, or 5 pounds, 13 ounces.
Sept. 29, CBP officers discovered cocaine inside the false inner lining of two white jars. The combined weight of the jars and the cocaine measured about 583 grams, or a little more than 1 pounds, 4 ounces.
These four men were also returned to Guatemala and barred for a minimum of five years.
During fiscal year 2011, which spans Oct. 1, 2010 through Sept. 30, 2011, CBP officers at Washington Dulles International Airport intercepted a little more than 50 pounds of cocaine in seven seizures.
For more on CBP's border security mission at our nation's Ports of Entry, please visit CBP.gov.
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.