Customs officers find 27 pounds of cocaine in wheelchair

By Ben Hooper Contact the Author   |   June 15, 2017 at 9:50 AM

June 15 (UPI) -- Authorities at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport said they found about 27 pounds of cocaine stashed inside a passenger's wheelchair.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection said U.S. cititzen Yoncela Stanley arrived at the airport Sunday on a flight from the Caribbean island nation of St. Lucia.

"During the course of the inspection, CBP officers noticed that the back seat cushion of her wheel chair appeared unusual," CBP said in a news release.

The cushion was found to be suspiciously heavy, leading officers to open it up and discover it was filled with a white powder that tested positive for cocaine. Officers said they found about 27 pounds of the drug with an estimated street value of $468,000.

"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, CBP Field Operations New York.

Stanley is now facing federal narcotics smuggling charges.

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