Tanzanian Sentenced for Smuggling Heroin into Washington Dulles International Airport
STERLING, VA.—Omar Mohammad Omar, 40, of Pemba, Tanzania, was sentenced in the Eastern District of Virginia April 26 to 48 months incarceration for the illegal importation of a controlled substance (21 USC 952). U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers initially arrested Omar Oct. 3, 2012 after officers discovered about seven pounds of heroin in the lining of his suitcase.
CBP officers turned Omar over to special agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia prosecuted Omar.
"Customs and Border Protection is pleased with the successful outcome of this narcotics conviction and sentencing. We hope that Mr. Omar's sentence is a clear warning to all would-be narcotics couriers to not attempt to smuggle your deadly poison through Washington Dulles International Airport," said Christopher Hess, CBP port director for the port of Washington, D.C. "Narcotics interdiction at our nation's borders is one of CBP's priority enforcement missions, and we will continue to work with our partners at the U.S. Attorney's Office and at Homeland Security Investigations to help keep our cities safe."
"Homeland Security Investigations is committed to investigating smugglers like Omar Mohammad Omar who attempt to import dangerous narcotics into the United States," said John P. Torres, HSI Special Agent in Charge. "HSI will continue to work diligently with Customs and Border Protection to bring smugglers to justice."
According to court documents, CBP officers inspected Omar's luggage after he arrived from Doha, Qatar. During that examination, CBP officers noticed that Omar's suitcase remained unusually heavy despite being emptied of its contents. An x-ray revealed anomalies on both sides of Omar's suitcase. CBP officers probed the lining and discovered four packages that contained a brown, powdery substance, a sample of which field-tested positive for heroin. The heroin had an approximate street value of about $225,000.
Omar pled guilty February 7.
During fiscal year 2012, which spanned Oct. 1, 2011 through Sept. 30, 2012, CBP officers at Washington Dulles International Airport recorded 16 heroin seizures with a combined weight of a little more than 61 pounds.
CBP routinely conducts random inspections operations on arriving and departing passengers searching for narcotics, currency, weapons and other prohibited or illicit products.
Read more on CBP's border security mission at our nation's ports of entry.
CBP officers placed a detainer on Omar for him to be returned to CBP upon his release. Omar will then be returned to Tanzania.
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.