An arriving passenger at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York was allegedly found with more than $58,000 worth of cocaine that she had stored in food containers.
Reynalda Leal Ricando arrived on a flight from Mexico City, Mexico, on Sept. 22 and was referred to U. S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists for an agricultural inspection after declaring food items, officials said.
During the x-ray examination of her baggage, CBP agriculture specialists identified a suspicious shape concealed in plastic sauce containers and referred the package to CBP officers to complete the inspection, according to officials. CBP officers probed a tar like mass within the sauce container and discovered a white powdery substance that tested positive for cocaine.
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Ricando, a citizen of Mexico, was arrested for the importation of a controlled substance and was turned over to Homeland Security Investigations, officials said. The total weight of cocaine found in the two containers seized was approximately 3.3 pounds.
“Cocaine is a dangerous narcotic, and CBP does its part in keeping these drugs off the streets.” said Robert E. Perez, Director of CBP’s New York Field Operations, in a statement. “Our Officers are determined to protect the American people from these illicit substances.”
Ricando now faces narcotics smuggling charges and will be prosecuted by the Queens District Court of New York, according to officials.
All defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.
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