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San Juan CBP Officers Foil Cocaine Smuggling Attempt

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17.4 pounds of cocaine concealed on carry-on luggage

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Field Operations Officers discovered Sunday 7.9 kilograms (17.4 pounds) of cocaine concealed on a passengers’ carry-on luggage arriving from St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands.   The estimated value of the seized narcotics is $217,000.

During an inbound passenger inspection, a CBP canine alerted to the odor of narcotics on a passenger’s carry-on luggage.  The passenger was escorted to a CBP baggage secondary inspection area, where seven (7) bricks of what appeared to be narcotics were discovered.  Field test of the substance revealed it to be cocaine, with an approximate weight of 17.4 pounds.

A  brick is field tested to confirm the properties of cocaine.
A brick is field tested to confirm the
properties of cocaine.

“CBP officers remain committed to securing our borders from the illegal importation of narcotics.” said San Juan Area Port Director Edwin Cruz.  “We are committed to disrupt business for drug traffickers before the drugs reach our communities and hurt its citizens.” 

CBP uses sophisticated methods to identify and target potentially high-risk passengers and cargo, including advanced electronic information about every passenger and cargo shipment entering into the U.S. before their arrival, canine inspections and non-intrusive devices.

CBP officers contacted Homeland Security Investigation (HSI) Special Agents, who responded and arrested the passenger, a United States citizen with residency in Texas.

CBP Office of Field Operations’ dual mission is to facilitate travel in the United States while we secure our borders, our people and our visitors from those that would do us harm like terrorists and terrorist weapons, criminals, and contraband.

Last Modified: February 3, 2021