A man from Guatemala who entered the country carrying cocaine concealed in candy and soup was stopped last weekend at Dulles International Airport, officials said.
Officials said the man was a courier who was not aware of the contents of the package, and that the agency decided not to pursue criminal charges but instead issued an expedited removal. Under the removal the courier will not be allowed to return to the U.S. for five years.
“We have a lot of couriers come into Washington and they are just like taxi drivers or anyone else. They’ve been paid to do a job and a lot of the time they have no idea what they’re carrying,” said Steve Sapp a spokesperson for the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.
The discovery was made during a routine secondary exam that couriers who travel into the Washington area are required to go through in addition to regular airport security screenings, Sapp said.
During an exam last Saturday police officers discovered a white, powdery substance inside two hard squares of a candy known as Dulche De Panela, he said.
In addition to the cocaine found in the candy, officers also discovered cocaine in several soup mix packages the courier had; a technique that police say has become common among drug smugglers. In total officers found five packages of soup mix and two squares of candy that contained cocaine, authorities said.
The incident marks the second instance of finding cocaine at Dulles in a week. Officers recently discovered the drug in a plastic container with a double lining, which appeared to be a bottle of honey or cream. The officers became dubious when the plastic container felt as if it had a hard outer shell, not typical of the plastic bottles purchased at the supermarket, officials said. The officers punctured the bottle with a knife and found an interior cavity that held the cocaine.