Drug smugglers have gotten pretty savvy these days in terms of engineering complex methods to get drugs into the United States. But while disguising weed as fruits and vegetables and using underwater tunnels or medieval catapults may be worth a shot at getting drugs over the border, flying in drugs in via air travel can prove to be a little more risky.
Last week, a 28-year-old man traveling through JFK tipped off airport security for looking a little too nervous and wearing pants that were a little too tight. After pulling him aside, they took a closer look and discovered that the guy had about ten pounds of cocaine strapped to his legs, Customs and Border Patrol reports.
The man, Juan Carlos Galan Luperon, had just landed in New York City from the Dominican Republic when he was pulled aside for an inspection. Apparently, security agents felt that Luperon's nervous behavior and his pants—which CBP called "rather snug"—were cause for further investigation.
Officials escorted Luperon to a private search room where they performed several physical searches and eventually found his stash. Luperon had packages strapped to both of his legs containing ten pounds white powder, which police later found was an estimated $164,000 stash of cocaine.
Leon Hayward, acting director of CBP's New York Field Operations, touted the incident as another example of officers being "ever vigilant in protecting the United States from the distribution of these illicit drugs." What exactly happened that allowed this guy to get through the x-rays and onto the plane at Santo Domingo's Las Americas International Airport remains to be seen.
Luperon was arrested and now faces federal narcotics smuggling charges. If only he had worn a pair of JNCOs on the flight, this might never have happened.