PHILADELPHIA — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers detained an Upper Darby, Pa., woman at Philadelphia International Airport on May 23 after officers discovered cocaine concealed inside chocolate drink cans in her baggage.
The Pennsylvania State Police charged Tiwanda Rechele White-Pinkton, 38, with possession with intent to deliver, criminal conspiracy, and simple possession.
White-Pinkton had arrived from Montego Bay, Jamaica at about 7:30 p.m. Monday when a CBP officer referred her to a secondary examination. Officers probed two of 10 instant chocolate drink mix cans that they removed from White-Pinkton’s baggage and discovered the cans were filled with a white powdery substance. That substance field-tested positive for cocaine.
The remaining eight cans also contained a similar substance. CBP officers secured the cans and cocaine, which weighted a combined 4.9 kilograms, or nearly 10 pounds, 13 ounces. The cocaine has an approximate street value of more than $300,000.
“Transnational criminal organizations employ many unique concealment methods to smuggle their deadly drugs into the United States, and Customs and Border Protection officers must remain vigilant to stop these attempts,” said Susan Stranieri, CBP Port Director for the Area Port of Philadelphia. “We’re hopeful that this arrest sends a strong message that CBP officers in Philadelphia remain committed to intercepting illicit narcotics before it can reach our communities.”
Charges and allegations contained in criminal complaints are merely accusations. Defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
CBP routinely conducts random inspection operations on arriving and departing international passengers and searches for narcotics, currency, weapons, agriculture, and other prohibited or illicit products. On a typical day, CBP seizes more than 9,000 pounds of narcotics at and between the nation’s 328 international ports of entry.
Visit CBP’s Border Security webpage to learn how CBP conducts its border security mission.
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.