The Middle Road, La Penitence beautician who was busted in the US state of Georgia this month was carrying just over five kilos of cocaine concealed in nine pairs of shoes and had been expecting a US$15,000 payoff for the job.
According to US court documents seen by Stabroek News, when she was held in Atlanta, Georgia on December 16th, Delshana Christopher had been en route to the US state of New Jersey where the drugs were to be delivered.
In his affidavit dated December 17th, 2015, US Department of Homeland Security agent Lucas Yates said that Christopher arrived at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Georgia from Christ Church in Barbados aboard Delta Airlines Flight 688. Her final destination was Newark, New Jersey.
He stated that Christopher was sent for a secondary inspection based on a computer-generated referral and accepted responsibility for having packed the two suitcases and the contents therein.
Customs officers then conducted a baggage exam and discovered 14 pairs of various types of shoes inside the two suitcases. All 14 pairs of shoes were x-rayed and anomalies were observed in the heel area of some of the shoes, the affidavit said. The officers further inspected the shoes that appeared to have anomalies in the heel area and noticed unusual stitching underneath the insole. One of the officers slit open the foot bed lining of one of the shoes and saw a white, powdery substance. This substance field tested positive for the properties of cocaine.
Yates further deposed that the remaining 13 pairs of shoes were inspected and the white powdery substance was found in eight more pairs of shoes. A field test was done on the substance from one of these pairs of shoes and it tested positive for the properties of cocaine. In total, Yates said that nine pairs of shoes concealed approximately 5.39 kilogrammes of the substance.
Later on December 16, Yates said that Christopher was interviewed and waived her Miranda rights in writing. He said that Christopher related that she flew from Guyana to Barbados on December 14. Yates said that she related that two to three weeks prior to this a man she knew as `Shawn’ offered to pay her US$15,000 to transport items from Barbados to the United States. The agent reported that Christopher said that she had known the man for about two months. The affidavit said that Shawn gave Christopher some Guyanese money after she agreed to travel to the US for him.
The affidavit related that Christopher provided Shawn with her bank account information and Shawn used her bank account to buy her airline ticket from Guyana to Barbados and also provided her with money for travel expenses she would incur travelling to Barbados.
Christopher spent the night of December 14 in Barbados and the next day Shawn provided contact information for a man by the name of Roger who she was supposed to meet in Barbados. The affidavit related that Christopher contacted Roger and he supplied her with the shoes containing the suspected drugs to be delivered to New Jersey. Shawn then purchased Christopher’s airline ticket from Barbados to Newark and instructed her to text him once she was aboard the flight from Atlanta to Newark and then again when she landed in Newark.
The affidavit said that Christopher advised the Homeland security agents that she knew that the concealed product in the shoes was cocaine when she departed for the United States.
Authorities were monitoring Christopher’s frequent travels from Guyana to the United States for a while. For 2015 she had visited the country five times.