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CBP Officers at JFK Airport Arrest Man for Carrying in Cocaine

February 06, 2009
 Right Side News

Jamaica, N.Y. - Customs and Border Protection officers at John F. Kennedy International Airport Wednesday arrested Sebastian Fritsch, a 24-year-old German citizen, and seized more than 8 pounds of cocaine concealed in his personal effects.

After reviewing advance passenger information that is electronically transmitted to CBP prior to the departure of all inbound international flights, CBP officers identified Fritsch as potentially high risk for smuggling narcotics.

Upon arrival at JFK on a flight from Guyana, CBP officers selected Fritsch for a baggage exam. He became fidgety and avoided eye contact as he presented one hand carried bag and one suitcase for inspection. Upon examination of his suitcase, CBP officers discovered an attaché case which had very stiff, heavy sides and emanated an unusual odor.

Fritsch was arrested by CBP officers after discovering a white powdery substance that tested positive for cocaine in the sides of the attaché case. Further search of his bag revealed two books, a photo album and a smaller leather binder that had cocaine concealed within the linings.

CBP officers seized more than 8 pounds of cocaine with an approximate street value of $250,000. Fritsch was turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents for federal prosecution by the U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of New York. Fritsch was arraigned at U.S. District Court in Brooklyn by Magistrate Reyes yesterday afternoon.

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"This seizure demonstrates how the use of advanced passenger manifests allows CBP officers to focus on high-risk passengers while facilitating the flow of legitimate travel," said Robert E. Perez, director of field operations for CBP in New York. "CBP is committed to preventing these smuggling organizations from using our ports of entry as a gateway for their illicit activities."

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.

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