JAMAICA, NY — A food courier arriving at John F. Kennedy International Airport had a little more than tostadas and enchiladas in mind as U. S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists and officers seized his illegal condiment.
On April 9, Eulalio Gomez-Zuniga, a food courier and United States citizen, arrived on a flight from Mexico City, Mexico and presented himself for inspection to CBP 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.
The weight of fentanyl seized was approximately 2.5 lbs. with an estimated street value of $60,000.
Gomez-Zuniga was arrested for the importation of a controlled substance and was turned over to NYPD. He now faces state narcotics smuggling charges and will face state prosecution.
“Fentanyl poses a significant threat to our nation, as it is often times 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.”