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Molluscs Don't Clam Up; Dulles CBP Arrests El Salvadoran with 15 Cocaine-Concealing Clams

Release Date: 
September 8, 2011

Sterling, Va. - Customs and Border Protection officers at Washington Dulles International Airport arrested an El Salvadoran man Saturday after officers discovered 15 cocaine baggies concealed in clams packed inside the man's luggage.

Cocaine baggies concealed in clams.

CBP officers arrested David Pocasangre Vaquiz, 26, and seized a combined 152 grams, or 5.36 ounces, of cocaine. The cocaine had an approximate street value of about $10,000.

CBP turned Pocasangre Vaquiz over to Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police for local prosecution.

"Smugglers attempt all types of creative concealment methods to sneak their deadly poison into the United States and this is one of the oddest we've seen," said Christopher Hess, CBP port director for the Port of Washington, DC. "This passenger took an enormous risk for only five ounces of cocaine and he now faces very serious narcotics smuggling charges."

Pocasangre Vaquiz arrived at Washington Dulles shortly before 2 a.m. Saturday and was referred to a routine secondary inspection. CBP officers then found a black plastic bag containing approximately 80 clams inside Pocasangre Vaquiz's luggage. An officer opened one clam which revealed the first plastic baggie. An x-ray revealed 14 additional cocaine-concealing clams. The 15 clams had allegedly been opened, stuffed with the packaged cocaine and glued closed.

CBP placed a detainer on Pocasangre Vaquiz to be returned to CBP upon adjudication of any charges he faces.

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

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017