PHOTO: An arriving passenger at JFK Airport was caught earlier this month attempting to smuggle cocaine concealed in seed cakes. Photo Courtesy of U.S. Customs and Border Protection
By Michael V. Cusenza
Of the myriad urban appellations for cocaine, perhaps “street sugar” is most appropriate for one of the latest smuggling attempts foiled by federal authorities at John F. Kennedy International Airport.
On March 1, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists were performing an X-ray examination of luggage belonging to Jesus Martinez Ramirez, a citizen of Mexico who had arrived on a flight from Mexico City. The CBP tillage experts noticed an anomaly on the X-ray of a cake, and discovered that a package was concealed within the cake.
Customs officers escorted Martinez Ramirez to a private search room in which they probed the concealed package to find a white powder that tested positive for cocaine.
In total, investigators discovered five cakes that contained approximately 2 pounds of the white stuff, with an estimated street value of $33,000.
CBP officers placed Martinez Ramirez under arrest and turned him over to the Port Authority Police Department. He was arraigned the following day and charged with first-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. Martinez Ramirez was remanded into Department of Correction custody and ordered to return to court on March 21.