Officials at Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark, New Jersey confiscated approximately $50,000 worth of cocaine on Thursday. A New Jersey man had tried to smuggle cocaine into the U.S. from Guatemala by baking the drug into spherical cookies. There were about 118 cocaine-filled pellets baked into them.
Mauricio Isidro Rivera Hernandez, 30, is originally a Guatemalan citizen but has been residing in Plainfield, New Jersey. Hernandez had traveled to Guatemala and was on a flight back home when he was searched. His cookies, looking suspicious, were searched by officers during the routine luggage search in the U.S. Customs security check point. Officers then sent Hernandez into a private search area where all three pieces of his luggage and the cookies were given a closer look.
As officials examined the cookies, they found little white pellet containers baked inside of them. The pellets contained a white powdery substance that was immediately analyzed and tested positive to being cocaine. Hernandez, a Guatemalan citizen, was arrested by police officers and taken into custody for trying to smuggle the cocaine in from his home country. He faces several narcotics-related charges.
Due to recent and similar events in the past decade, U.S. Customs and United States Border Patrol officials have seen and taken in various people who have made their own attempts to smuggle illegal drugs as they try to enter the country. In both domestic and international flights, men–and women–will go to various extremes just to get drugs into the country.
John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York has had many such cases in the past six months, with two cases just weeks from each other. In April, a man tried to smuggle in cocaine in frozen goat meat from Trinidad. Then in May, a man from Guyana hid 18 pounds of cocaine in packages of custard mix. Last December, a woman from Santo Domingo hid six pounds of cocaine in her hair products.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has modernized its training and is being equipped to ensure safe and legal travels in all countries. Presently the TSA has provided full body scanners and also suitcase scanners. TSA officials and workers are trained to differentiate certain items that could be in baggage and pose a potential threat. If pets are transported throughout domestic and international flights, the animals are scanned as well.
Drug smuggling through an airport is a highly punishable offense. An individual probably will face jail time for transporting illegal drugs in and out of the United States. Newark Liberty International Airport has had various cases of illegal drug transportation. Some include smuggling of marijuana, other illegal narcotics, prescription medication without a valid prescription, and other controlled substances with intention of selling them.
Mauricio Isidro Rivera Hernandez, a Guatemalan man, tried to smuggle cocaine into the United States from Guatemala at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey. In his possession, he had three suitcases containing cookies with cocaine-containing pellets baked into them. The cookies contained approximately $50,000 worth of cocaine, and he is currently in custody for narcotics smuggling.
By Tricia Manalansan