22-year-old Ariel Garcia [photo] was arrested by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at JFK on April, 19 with 11 pounds of coke strapped to his legs
In the most recent crackdown on mules using the limbs as pouches in the transportation of illegal drugs, federal agents arrested two international travelers coming into Kennedy Airport with 23 pounds of cocaine strapped to their legs, officials said Wednesday.
Ariel Garcia, 22, and Elvin Montila-Sosa, 41, were traveling separately from the Dominican Republic when they landed on April 19, officials said.
Federal Customs officers patting them down took them to a private search room and found the packages taped to their bodies.
Garcia, a U.S. citizen, allegedly had 11 pounds of cocaine with a street value of $180,000 taped to his legs, officials said.
Coming off the same flight, Customs officers found 12 pounds of cocaine, worth about $200,000, taped to Montila-Sosa’s legs and back. Montila-Sosa is a citizen of the Dominican Republic, officials said.
Elvin Montilla-Sosa, a 41-year-old Dominican citizen was arrested off the same flight with over $200,000 worth of coke taped to his leg and body
U.S. Customs arrested both Garcia and Montila-Sosa on federal drug smuggling charges.
“This latest seizure demonstrates our CBP officers being ever vigilant in protecting the United States from the distribution of these illicit drugs,” said Leon Hayward, Acting Director of CBP’s New York Field Operations.
In similar busts, U.S. Customs officials busted a 48-year-old man flying in from the Dominican Republic with five pounds of cocaine strapped around his legs, on March 17, officials said.
In another incident Juan Carlos Galan Luperon, a 28-year-old Manhattan man, was allegedly caught with 10 pounds of cocaine strapped to his legs when Customs officers stopped him from coming into the country on March 4.