An arriving passenger carried more than tuna salad in his suitcase on his return flight back to the country, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officers at John F. Kennedy Airport found.
Jaime Macias, a U.S. citizen, was arriving on a flight from Guayaquil, Ecuador Jan. 25 when customs officers allegedly discovered three cans labeled as tuna and three cans labeled as corn in his checked suitcase, CBP officials said.
CBP officers escorted Mr. Macias to a private search room where the cans were probed and tested positive for cocaine, authorities said. He was arrested for importing a controlled substance shortly after and was turned over to Homeland Security Investigations.
Customs officials said the total weight of the cocaine seized was approximately 7 pounds, with an estimated street value of $127,000.
Macias faces federal narcotics smuggling charges and will be prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Eastern District Court of New York, officials said.