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Federal Authorities Discover Marijuana Concealed in Saudi Man’s Baggage at Washington Dulles International Airport

Release Date: 
July 8, 2015

STERLING, Va. — The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) teamed up to seize a little more than five ounces of marijuana from a traveler departing from Washington Dulles International Airport to Saudi Arabia Monday.

During routine baggage screening, TSA detected an anomaly in a can of hairspray within the man’s checked baggage and notified CBP. CBP officers inspected the aerosol canister and detected a modified can with a twist-off bottom that concealed five small bags of marijuana.

CBP and TSA detected 415 grams of marijuana concealed inside false compartments in hairspray cans and other items at Wasington Dulles International Airport July 6, 2015.

CBP and TSA detected 415 grams of marijuana concealed inside false compartments in hairspray cans and other items at Wasington Dulles International Airport July 6, 2015.

CBP officers identified the bag’s owner, a 25-year-old Saudi Arabia man, at the departure gate and escorted him to CBP’s inspection station. The passenger’s eight additional pieces of checked baggage were ordered to the inspection station for a comprehensive examination.

During the baggage examination, CBP officers discovered multiple false-bottomed aerosol canisters, cookie tins, cookie boxes and other items wrapped in plastic that contained small bags of marijuana. The combined marijuana weight was 145 grams, or a little more than five ounces, and a street value of about $750.

CBP officers also discovered an assortment of glass pipes and wrapping papers.

CBP seized the marijuana and released the traveler without charges.

“We’re very fortunate that the product being concealed was marijuana and not a potentially greater threat to passengers,” said Wayne Biondi, CBP Port Director for the Port of Washington Dulles. “This seizure is another example of the continued close collaboration between TSA and Customs and Border Protection to enforce U.S. laws and secure air travel.”

In addition to narcotics enforcement, CBP routinely conducts inspection operations on arriving and departing international flights and intercepts currency, weapons, prohibited agriculture products, and other illicit items.

Travelers are encouraged to visit CBP’s Travel section to learn rules, tips and advice to help quickly complete their CBP international arrivals inspection.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017