US authorities nab American passenger arriving from St Lucia with cocaine in wheelchair

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NEW YORK, United States (CMC) United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has arrested a United States national arriving from St Lucia at the John F Kennedy International Airport in New York after discovering a quantity of drugs in a wheelchair.

CBP said that officers stopped Yoncela Stanley earlier this week after they ‘noticed that the back seat cushion of her wheelchair appeared unusual. The back seat cushion was removed and felt ‘unusually heavy’.

“CBP officers probed the cushion, producing a white powder that tested positive for cocaine,” CBP said, adding that Stanley was arrested for the importation of a controlled substance and was turned over to the US Department of Homeland Security Investigations.

The total weight of cocaine seized was about 27 pounds, with an estimated street value of US$468,000, CBP said.

“This latest seizure demonstrates the vigilance of our CBP officers, and their excellence in detecting those who would try to smuggle these illegal substances,” said Leon Hayward, Acting Director, Field Operations New York.

Hayward said Stanley now faces US federal narcotics smuggling charges and will be prosecuted by the US Attorney’s Office in the US Eastern District Court of New York.

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