49ºF

Cocaine making a comeback in Houston

Cocaine smuggler uses new method at Bush airport

HOUSTON – Federal drug agents say they have seen an increase in cocaine coming across the southwest boarder since January.

It’s happening in part, agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration, because the price of cocaine has skyrocketed.

A kilo can go for as much as $28,000 in Houston. Five years ago, it was going for half that.

One smuggler from Lima, Peru was just sentenced to federal prison last week.

A judge sentenced Christopher Curi to nearly seven years in prison on Thursday for trying to smuggle 17 pounds of cocaine at Bush Intercontinental Airport.

Curi was acting oddly before he was selected for additional screening in February of 2015, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol Agent, Alicia Tellez said.

Agents asked to look into Curi’s luggage.

“The passenger had concealed cocaine within picture frames, within a bottle of liquor, and mixed cocaine with other substances to turn it into gel, Tellez said. “It is the first time agents had seen this smuggling method.”

Agents believe drug dealers had cooks who planned to extract the cocaine from the gel after getting into Houston.

Prior to the upswing in cocaine busts since the beginning of the year, numbers had been falling.

Have a tip about this story or another story idea for investigative reporter Jace Larson? Email or text him at jlarson@kprc.com or 832-493-3951.