JAMAICA, N.Y. — U. S. Customs and Border Protection officers in New York are always discovering new concealment methods. Hiding heroin in a seat cushion is another unscrupulous way a smuggler will attempt to transport illegal drugs into the United States.
On March 26, Mr. Esteban Antonio Ortiz Ramos, a Guatemalan citizen, arrived at John F. Kennedy International Airport from Guatemala via San Salvador, El Salvador and presented himself for inspection.
CBP officers identified a bag belonging to Mr. Ortiz Ramos and brought it to a search room for further examination. CBP officers found a seat cushion in the bag. When probed, the seat cushion revealed a brown powdery substance that tested positive for heroin.
A total weight of approximately 2 lbs. of heroin was seized, which CBP estimates the street value to be more than $66,000 based on the latest DEA statistics.
“This seizure is just another example of our CBP officers being ever vigilant in protecting the United States from the distribution of these illicit drugs,” said Robert E. Perez, Director of CBP’s New York Field Operations.
CBP officers placed him under arrest and turned him over to Homeland Security Investigations. He now faces federal narcotics smuggling charges and will be prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the U.S. Eastern District Court of New York. All defendants are considered innocent until proven guilty.
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.