The Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said Mario Hudson, who is due to appear before the US Eastern District Court of New York later this month, was detained on March 27, posing as an airline pilot.
“Mr Hudson was dressed in what appeared to be a pilot’s uniform and claimed he was a ‘dead-heading crewmember’,” CBP said, adding that he indicated this on his arrival from Jamaica.
But during the baggage inspection, CBP said officers discovered that Hudson had what appeared to be two fraudulent Delta Airlines ID badges. The officers also noticed that the sides and bottom of the luggage appeared to be unusually thick and heavy.
CBP said Hudson was escorted to a private search room, “where his suitcase was probed, revealing a white powder that tested positive for cocaine”.
Hudson was arrested for the importation of a controlled substance and was turned over to US Homeland Security Investigations.
The cocaine had a total weight of five pounds and had a street value of US$85,000.
“This seizure demonstrates the vigilance and dedication demonstrated daily by CBP officers at JFK, in keeping these prohibited and dangerous narcotics off the streets of our communities,” said Leon Hayward, acting director, Field Operations in New York for CBP.