CBP arrest two at JFK on charges of heroin smuggling

CBP officials allegedly found heroin hidden inside this speaker.
Courtesy of the CBP
By Patrick Donachie

A couple attempting to enter John F. Kennedy International Airport last weekend were arrested for trying to smuggle heroin through customs hidden in a whiskey gift box, according to representatives for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

The arrest occurred Sunday, when Andres Uribe Rebolledo and Yuly Valencia Sanchez, both from Colombia, arrived at JFK Airport on a flight from Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Going through Customs, CBP officials examined luggage from the two, including a Marshall brand speaker and one Glenmorangie brand whiskey gift box. According to the CBP, the gift box “felt unusually heavy.”

Upon being escorted to a private room, CBP officers searched the speaker and gift box in greater detail and found a tan substance, which tested positive for heroin, the agency said. In all, officials said they found about nine pounds of heroin that the CBP estimated had a street value of more than $250,000.

The two arrested individuals are facing narcotics smuggling charges and are being prosecuted by the Special Narcotics Prosecutor’s Office for New York City, according to the CBP.

Reach reporter Patrick Donachie by e-mail at pdonachie@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4573.

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