Philadelphia - Customs and Border Protection officers arrested an alleged internal heroin smuggler at Philadelphia International Airport on August 20, after the local man passed 58 thumb-sized pellets of heroin. The heroin weighed about 1.65 pounds and had an approximate street value of about $45,000.
Santos Daniel Rivera, 21, of Philadelphia, faces federal narcotics smuggling charges. He will be prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
Rivera arrived from Punta Cana, Dominican Republic on August 18 and was referred for a secondary inspection. A CBP officer reportedly detected inconsistencies in Rivera's story. CBP officers escorted Rivera to a local hospital where an x-ray detected the presence of foreign bodies. Rivera ultimately passed 58 pellets. A field test on the substance detected the presence of heroin.
"This heroin arrest proves that law enforcement is mostly about listening and observing. A CBP officer detected inconsistencies in Mr. Rivera's story and noticed non-verbal communications which led us to believe there was more to Mr. Rivera's story," said Allan Martocci, CBP Port Director for the Area Port of Philadelphia. "CBP remains committed to stopping narcotics couriers from smuggling their deadly poison through Philadelphia."
CBP officers turned Rivera over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations agents.
Internal concealment is difficult to detect, but may also provide dire consequences for the smuggler. Carriers have reportedly died painful deaths after pellets have breached while inside them.
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.