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Federal Authorities Find Heroin in Backpack at Orlando International Airport

Release Date: 
March 16, 2016

ORLANDO, Fla. – Federal authorities at Orlando International Airport arrested a suspected drug smuggler after discovering 6 pounds of heroin hidden inside a backpack during enforcement operations. The street value of the drugs is approximately $170,000.

Federal authorities arrested a man with 6 pounds of heroin at Orlando International Airport.

Federal authorities arrested a man with 6 pounds of heroin at Orlando International Airport.

On March 12, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations (OFO) officers encountered a 38-year-old man arriving on a flight from Mexico City during inspection operations. CBP officers became suspicious after examining the traveler’s backpack and detecting inconsistencies in the weight and feel of the padding. After escorting the man to a search room for further examination, CBP officers discovered five packages concealed within the lining of the backpack. A sample from a package field tested positive for heroin.

The individual and the seized drugs were turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) for further investigation.

“Seizures of dangerous drugs in Orlando demonstrate the vigilance of our elite officers and it's another example of CBP's multi-layered approach to combating narcotics smuggling in the international passenger environment,” said Orlando International Airport Port Director Eduardo Oliveros. “CBP officers work closely with a growing network of committed local, state and federal law enforcement partners across Florida to prevent illicit drugs from reaching our communities.”

On a typical day, CBP seizes more than 9,400 pounds of drugs.

On a typical day, CBP seizes more than 9,400 pounds of drugs.

The 2015 National Drug Threat Assessment provides an up-to-date look at the many challenges local communities face related to drug abuse and drug trafficking. Highlights in the report include drug abuse and trafficking trends for drugs such as heroin, prescription drugs, and the hundreds of synthetic drugs manufactured outside the U.S. and imported into this country.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the lead agency for preventing drug trafficking through airports, seaports, and land ports of entry and plays a significant role in the national drug control strategy. As a result of CBP’s all-threats mission, CBP officers frequently interdict drug-smuggling attempts and locate hidden contraband such as heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana. On a typical day, CBP seizes more than 9,400 pounds of drugs.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection operations in Florida include travel and trade facilitation and securing over 1,200 miles of the coastal border. Follow @CBPFlorida on Twitter for real-time updates.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017