More than $80,000 worth of cocaine was found hidden inside caramelized sugar cane sweets during an inspection at Washington Dulles International Airport, authorities say.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the airport seized over 1.5 pounds of cocaine disguised as candy from a Honduran woman Wednesday, according to a press release. Authorities cancelled the woman’s visa Wednesday and she is barred from returning to the U.S. for a minimum of five years, said Robert Hunt, a spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.
The woman, who was not identified by authorities, arrived on a flight from El Salvador Wednesday and requested entry as a courier on business. Authorities said because of the courier request, she was referred to a routine secondary examination so officers could inspect her packages.
During the inspection, officers found a brown cone shaped package wrapped in cellophane. Authorities said the woman told officers they were caramelized sugar cane sweets from Honduras. Authorities said an officer dug into one of the sweets with a knife and found a white powdery substance on the blade that tested positive for cocaine.
Officer removed cocaine from all eight pieces of candy, the press release said.
Hunt said the woman was interviewed by federal authorities and they believe she was not criminally culpable. She was not charged and was sent back overseas, he said.
Wayne Biondi, director of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Port of Washington, said officers at Dulles airport are “exceptionally skilled at discovering unique concealment methods, and this seizure is illustrative of that skill.”
According to the release, officers conduct package inspections to ensure that contents comply with all customs, agriculture and other laws.