Warren Hawk, of East Hartford, Conn., was stopped for further inspection on June 5 after U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers noticed that the handle rails on his suitcase were “unusually thick,” CPB spokesman Anthony Bucci said in a news release.
Hawk was escorted to a private search room where officers searched his suitcase, Bucci said. Officers found approximately 4.82 pounds of cocaine, a street value of more than $82,000, according to Bucci.
He was placed under arrest and now faces federal narcotics smuggling charges. Hawk will be prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the U.S. Eastern District Court of New York.
“CBP officers continue to adapt to various concealment methods employed by these smugglers, and CBP remains ever vigilant in protecting the United States from the distribution of these dangerous drugs,” said Robert E. Perez, director of CBP’s New York field operations.
In May, a man, also traveling from Guyana to JFK airport, tried to smuggle 18 pounds of cocaine in packages of mix used to make custard.