A woman travelling from Guyana to the US was on Wednesday busted at New York’s JFK airport with 17.5 kilos of cocaine stashed in her luggage, in El Dorado rum and in food cans.
Emily Leitch, 28, was arrested and later granted bail in the sum of US$75 000, according to US court documents. She is accused of knowingly, intentionally and unlawfully importing into the US, a substance containing cocaine. Conditions of her release on bail include that she cannot leave the New York area without court permission and the surrender of her passport. She has also been placed under the supervision of the Pretrial Services Agency and must report to the Agency as directed.
Her passage through the Timehri airport undetected is the latest in breaches of the security systems there.
According to an affidavit filed by Special Agent in the US Department of Homeland Security, Derek Bergman, Leitch arrived at JFK airport on July 27, aboard Caribbean Airways flight #424 from George-town transiting through Port-of-Spain, Trinidad.
Upon arrival, Leitch was selected for a search and she presented a blue rollerbag, a green rollerbag, a black rollerbag and two carry-on bags. During an inspection of the blue rollerbag, a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer noticed that the sides of the bag felt unusually thick. “The sides of the bag were probed revealing a white powdery substance, which field-tested positive for the presence of cocaine,” the affidavit said.
Leitch was then arrested. CBP officers also noticed that the green rollerbag had unusually thick sides and probed the sides of the said bag, revealing a white powdery substance, which also field-tested positive for cocaine. Her black ‘Luckway’ carry-on bag, which contained four bottles of ‘El Dorado’ brand rum was also searched. All the bottles were opened and the law enforcement agents noticed that three of them emitted a strong chemical odour.
“The liquid in these three bottles field-tested positive for cocaine,” the affidavit said.
In addition, CBP officers found two food cans in Leitch’s blue rollerbag, two food cans in her green rollerbag and two food cans in her black rollerbag. “Each of the six food cans were opened revealing a clear plastic bag containing a white powdery substance, which field tested positive for cocaine,” the affidavit said.
It said that the total weight of the cocaine amounted to 17.596 kilogrammes. Reports are that Guyanese law enforcements agents were notified and a man was also arrested here in connection with the bust.