Last week was a good one for our local Customs agents. Not only did they find $300,000 in fake bills at JFK, agents at Newark confiscated about 6.1 pounds of cocaine in two separate incidents. The Italian woman who hid her coke in a false bottomed bag is pretty run of the mill, but give credit to the Peruvian guy who tried to smuggle his drugs in deflated soccer balls and inside four pairs of sandals. No hiding coke in coloring book pages, but not bad.
On Wednesday, Customs and Border Patrol officers busted 29-year-old Daniela Mastromarino as she came into the country from Costa Rica with 1.2 pounds of cocaine hidden in "an anomaly" in the bottom of her bag. Then, on Thursday, they arrested Heber Razuri Leon, a 46-year-old man coming from Peru.
Leon was busted when Customs noticed that his deflated soccer balls "were unusually heavy." So they opened them up and whatdayaknow, inside were bags of "a powdery substance that tested positive for cocaine." All in all he appeared to be carrying 4.9 pounds of booger sugar in the balls and in his special sandals (shoes are apparently a popular smuggling site).
Both Mastromarino and Leon have been turned over to Homeland Security and now face federal narcotics smuggling charges. The CBP estimates the pair's combined stash to be worth at least $310,000 on the street. This year's local coke busts weren't quite as massive as last years, but then again, there is a lot less snow this year in general.