‘Custard powder’ yields 18lbs cocaine at JFK

The Customs Anti-Narcotic Unit will be conducting its own investigation here after a Guyanese was caught trying to smuggle just under 18 pounds of cocaine in custard power at the JFK International Airport in New York on April 22.

Godfrey Anthony Cassius, was selected for an examination by a US customs officer after he arrived at the JFK International Airport in New York on April 22 at approximately 23:30hrs abroad a Vision Airlines Flight No 502 from the Cheddi Jagan International Airport, Timehri. Vision operates flights for Travelspan.

Customs officers found the cocaine in four bags labelled “custard powder” after discovering two large cellophane wrapped bundles that Cassius identified as custard powder he was transporting for his aunt. The substance was tested and results showed that it was cocaine.

He told officials that he was not aware that the packets contained cocaine but did state that he was paid US$5000 to transport the suitcase.

According to the affidavit, “Godfrey Anthony Cassius did knowingly, intentionally and unlawfully import to United States from a place outside thereof a substance containing cocaine.”

He was taken before Magistrate Judge Ramon E Reyes on April 23 and was ordered detained. Cassius was provided with a public defender. Cassius faces years of jail time as well as deportation back to Guyana and could also be banned from travelling to the US forever.

How the 18 lbs of cocaine got past local security checks will be a question authorities here will have to address. While some drug couriers have been caught at Timehri other are getting past security checks.


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