Alleged cocaine smuggler had $67K of the powder hidden in his shoes: Customs agents

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From boxes of beef patties to salad dressing bottles, smugglers have come up with all sorts of creative ways to try to walk through John F. Kennedy International Airport with narcotics.

The latest alleged smuggler busted at the airport last week for trafficking is accused of hiding thousands of dollars in cocaine inside several pairs of shoes, according to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).


On Thursday, Feb. 9, Amaziah Hohenkirk, a Guyanese citizen, arrived at JFK Airport on a flight from Georgetown, Guyana via Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. Upon his arrival, he was stopped by CBP officers for an inspection.

Over the course of the inspection, CBP officers found four pairs of sneakers and two pairs of shoes in Hohenkirk’s luggage that contained a white powder, which tested positive for cocaine.

The amount of cocaine that was seized during the inspection weighed four pounds and has an estimated street value of $67,000. Hohenkirk was arrested for the importation of a controlled substance and was then turned over to Homeland Security Investigations.

“This latest seizure demonstrates the vigilance of our CBP officers, and their excellence in detecting those who would try to smuggle these illegal substances,” said Robert E. Perez, Director, Field Operations New York.

Hohenkirk faces federal narcotics smuggling charges and will be prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the U.S. Eastern District Court of New York.

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