JAMAICA, N.Y. — An arriving passenger was planning to enjoy a very interesting cocktail, however U. S. Customs and Border Protection officers at John F. Kennedy International Airport shut down this speakeasy before it ever opened.
On November 17, Mr. Wilton Sinclair arrived on a flight from Georgetown, Guyana and presented one checked-in suitcase, one carry-on duffel bag, and two duty free bags for examination. During this examination CBP officers discovered four bottles of rum, two in each of the duty free bags, and noticed that the liquid appeared thicker than usual. Mr. Sinclair was escorted to a private search room where CBP officers opened the bottles of rum, and detected an unusual chemical odor. The liquid tested positive for cocaine.
Sinclair, a citizen of the United States, was arrested for the importation of a controlled substance and was turned over to Homeland Security Investigations. The total weight of cocaine found in the two bottles seized was approximately 18 lbs. with an approximate street value of $310,000.
“Cocaine is a dangerous narcotic, and CBP does its part in keeping these drugs off the streets.” said Robert E. Perez, Director of CBP’s New York Field Operations. “Our officers are determined to protect the American people from these illicit substances.”
Mr. Sinclair faces federal narcotics smuggling charges and will be prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the U.S. Eastern District Court of New York.
All defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.