Wheelchair Tires Full of Drugs Found at JFK Airport – NBC New York

What to Know

  • A woman is facing drug smuggling charges after US Customs and Border Protection officers allegedly seized around 28 pounds of cocaine inside her wheelchair’s tires last week at John F. Kennedy International Airport.
  • According to CBP, Emelinda Paulino De Rivas, a citizen of the Dominican Republic, arrived on a flight from Punta Cana on Thursday and was traveling in a wheelchair when CBP officers interviewed her when they allegedly noticed that the wheels on her wheelchair were not turning.
  • CBP officers subsequently x-rayed the wheelchair and noticed an anomaly in all four wheels, the agency said, adding that when CBP officers probed the four wheels, a white powder was revealed that allegedly tested positive for cocaine.

A woman is facing drug smuggling charges after US Customs and Border Protection officers allegedly seized around 28 pounds of cocaine inside her wheelchair’s tires last week at John F. Kennedy International Airport.

According to CBP, Emelinda Paulino De Rivas, a citizen of the Dominican Republic, arrived on a flight from Punta Cana on Thursday and was traveling in a wheelchair when CBP officers interviewed her when they allegedly noticed that the wheels on her wheelchair were not turning.

CBP officers subsequently x-rayed the wheelchair and noticed an anomaly in all four wheels, the agency said, adding that when CBP officers probed the four wheels, a white powder was revealed that allegedly tested positive for cocaine.

According to CBP, the cocaine seized weighed about 28 pounds with an estimated street value of $450,000.

De Rivas was arrested and is now facing charges for allegedly smuggling a controlled substance.

“CBP stands steadfast and determined in working with our partners to identify the trans-national criminal networks responsible for importing these deadly drugs into our neighborhoods.” Director of CBP’s New York Field Operations Francis Russo said in a statement. “CBP’s mission is to guard the borders and ports of entry 24/7, 365 days a year to prevent these dangerous drugs from potentially killing our family, friends, and neighbors.”

The US Attorney’s Office in the US Eastern District Court of New York will prosecute the charges against De Rivas. Attorney information for De Rivas was not immediately known.

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