“Shoes are made for walking and not smuggling narcotics,” said U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in a recent press release. The federal law enforcement agency arrested a woman at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport for attempting to smuggle $40K of cocaine into the country.
The 21-year-old Georgia resident was returning from Jamaica. She had roughly three pounds of the drug hidden in the soles of seven pairs of shoes. The shoes, which ranged from wedge sandals to sneakers, were discovered after the woman was flagged for suspicion and stopped for additional inspection.
While going through her bags, officers found shoes containing a “white powdery substance” which later tested as cocaine. The woman has been handed over to the Clayton County Police Department and is awaiting prosecution by the state of Georgia.
This isn’t the first time Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, or any airport for that matter, has been in the news for someone attempting to pull off something like this.
Paula Rivera, CBP Port Director for Atlanta, said, “Smugglers go through great lengths to conceal drugs from our officers. Narcotics interdiction remains a priority CBP enforcement mission, one that we take very seriously.”
CBP routinely screens incoming international passengers and cargo for drugs, weapons, and other prohibited items at the numerous U.S. ports of entry. On a typical day, they confiscate an average of 3,677 pounds of drugs. According to the website: CBP deploys highly trained law enforcement personnel who apprehend more than 1,000 individuals each day for suspected violations of U.S. laws.
In December of last year, a drug-sniffing dog discovered someone transporting more than a pound of fentanyl in Yuma, Arizona. It was duct-taped into shoes.
In February, a person traveling to Savannah, GA from India was apprehended while attempting to smuggle almost $100,000 worth of erectile dysfunction pills.