News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Thurs. May 8, 2014: Custard power is the latest tool drug dealers from the Caribbean have turned to in trying to smuggle cocaine into the United States.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection confirmed on Wednesday that a Guyanese man’s packages of powdered custard brought into Kennedy Airport last month was really cocaine.
Godfrey Cassius was arrested at JFK on April 22 for allegedly trying to smuggle the drugs in eight bags of “Champion” custard powder, according to the complaint.
The drugs tested positive after a customs officer noticed the powder had a strong chemical odor, the complaint said. Customs said the drugs weighed nearly 18 pounds and had a street value of US$300,000.
Cassius allegedly told officials he was paid $5,000 to bring the suitcase into the U.S. and that he was unaware cocaine was inside.
Cassius is the latest in a string of smugglers nabbed from Guyana and Trinidad in recent months trying to smuggle narcotics into the U.S and Canada.
A Guyanese man was arrested at JFK Inter-national Airport in February after being found with cocaine and marijuana in his luggage shortly after touching down. Samuel Henry was charged in a Brooklyn, New York court with knowingly importing 13.399 kilos of cocaine and 5.950 kilos of marijuana. After pleading not guilty, he was set US$150,000 bail.
Cocaine concealed in ‘achar’ was reportedly unearthed in her suitcase at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) on February 26 in the suitcase of 41-year-old Canada-based Ashery Corbin.
And last month, two Trinidad nationals were held by US Customs officers with close to $2 million worth of cocaine, four days apart, after arriving on Caribbean Airlines flights at JFK. The first Trinidadian was held with cocaine hidden in frozen goat meat in his suitcase while the other had it concealed in his pants crotch.