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Wednesday, June 7, 2023

CBP at JFK Arrests First Fentanyl Smuggler

The weight of fentanyl seized was approximately 2.5 lbs. with an estimated street value of $60,000.

On April 9, Mr. Eulalio Gomez-Zuniga, a food courier and United States citizen, arrived at John F. Kennedy International Airport on a flight from Mexico City, Mexico and presented himself for inspection to U. S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists. Upon x-raying his bags, the specialists saw three cylindrical objects appearing to have anomalies in their center.  Upon further inspection, the objects were determined to be three candles.

The CBP Agriculture Specialists requested assistance from CBP Officers, who inserted a probe into one candle. When the probe was removed, a white powder was discovered, which subsequently tested positive for fentanyl.

Mr. Gomez-Zuniga was arrested for the importation of a controlled substance and was turned over to NYPD for state prosecution. The weight of fentanyl seized was approximately 2.5 lbs. with an estimated street value of $60,000.

“Fentanyl poses a significant threat to our nation, as it is often added to other substances that can have deadly consequences.” said Francis J. Russo, Director of CBP’s New York Field Operations. “The fentanyl seized was 73% pure, and capable of causing considerable overdoses in our community. As America’s unified border security agency, our employees are determined to protect the public from fentanyl entering our neighborhoods and destroying our communities.”

Mr. Gomez-Zuniga now faces state narcotics smuggling charges and will face state prosecution.

All defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Read more at CBP

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The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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