A U.S. magistrate here yesterday ordered a Beirut, Lebanon, salesman held on $30,000 bond following his arrest last Friday on a charge that he attempted to smuggle 43 pounds of hashish and a quantity of cocaine into this country through Dulles International Airport.
Assistant U.S. Attorney William J. O'Malley Jr. told Magistrate Jean F. Dwyer the hashish was valued at more than $300,000. The defendant, Mohamad Z. Alaeddine, 35, was arrested by U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents Friday night at the Embassy Square Hotel, 2000 N St. NW, according to court records.
Agents were contacted Friday by officials from the U.S. Customs Service at Dulles, who discovered packages of a brown, vegetable-like substance that they believed to be hashish, in false bottoms of four pieces of luggage. The luggage arrived at Dulles on a British Airways flight from London on Nov. 20, according to court records. The records said the bags were registered to the name Alaeddine.
That same day, a man who identified himself as Alaeddine told an agent for Pan American Airways that he had just arrived in the United States on a Pan Am flight but that his luggage was on the British Airways flight. The man then filed a "luggage locator and delivery" request with Pan Am and said that he would be at a local hotel, according to court records.
When Pan Am received the luggage, it was sent through Customs for a routine inspection, at which point the drugs were discovered, the court records said.
That night, a Pan Am employee, at the direction of drug enforcement agents, telephoned the man who said he was Alaeddine at the Embassy Square hotel and said the missing luggage had been located and would be delivered to the hotel.
Agents, posing as deliverymen, then went to the hotel where they arrested Alaeddine and a second man, identified in court records as Redwan Ahmad Khatib. According to the records, Khatib posed as Alaeddine and went to Pan Am desk to file the baggage locator request.
Both Alaeddine and Khatib made an initial appearance at D.C. Superior Court on Saturday. Alaeddine was held on bond, pending his appearance in federal court yesterday. Khatib was released after officials in Washington dropped charges against him. Federal sources in Alexandria said yesterday, however, that an arrest warrant was issued yesterday for Khatib on the importation of hashish charge.
Magistrate Dwyer said she will transfer the case against Alaeddine to U.S. prosecutors in Alexandria where the charges formally were brought against Alaeddine.