Traveler attempts to smuggle 35 pounds of liquid cocaine in shampoo bottles at IAH

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HOUSTON – A Colombian citizen attempted to smuggle 35 pounds of liquid cocaine in shampoo bottles at George Bush Intercontinental Airport on Monday, officials with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection said.

The 26-year-old traveler was carrying 24 full-sized shampoo bottles packed with liquid cocaine valued at $400,000 in his checked luggage, officials said.

“Our officers are the first line of defense at our ports of entry, so they are trained in the various smuggling methods people use to bring illicit goods into the U.S.,” said U.S. Customs and Border Protection Port Director Shawn Polley.  “We take every opportunity to intercept those illicit goods before they enter our communities, in this case it was 35 pounds of liquid cocaine.”

CBP officers questioned the man as he retrieved his checked baggage from a luggage carousel. The interaction led the officers to discover the shampoo bottles. A CBP K-9 alerted in a manner to indicate the presence of narcotics when it examined the bottles, the CBP said. Lab tests confirmed that the bottles contained liquid cocaine.

Thre CBP turned over the narcotics to the Houston Police Department for further investigation and returned the would-be smuggler to Colombia.

About the Author:

Briana Zamora-Nipper joined the KPRC 2 digital team as a community associate producer in 2019. During her time in H-Town, she's covered everything from fancy Houston homes to tropical storms. Previously, she worked at Austin Monthly Magazine and KAGS TV, where she earned a Regional Edward R. Murrow award for her work as a digital producer.