Authorities at John F. Kennedy International Airport discovered an eight-pound mixture of heroin and hair cream inside the luggage of Emilce Cardona. They were stunned at the woman's concoction and immediately took her into custody.
Cardona now faces charges of smuggling narcotics after discovering such a large amount of the hair product. In total, Cardona attempted to pass 38 packages of the heroin-laced hair cream through customs. The massive amount of product raised a red flag for authorities, who later examined and tested the products.
"This latest seizure demonstrates the steadfastness of the Customs and Border Protection officers on the ground to detect, detain, and deter those who would try to import these illegal substances. CBP is ever vigilant in our daily battle in combating the flow of illicit narcotics from entering the United States," Robert E. Perez, director of field operations in New York, told DNAinfo.com.
Cardona flew in from Bogota, Colombia, and it is unknown whether the conviction will land her in jail here in the United States or whether she will be sent back to Colombia.
Authorities have been heavily tested in recent weeks, with drug smugglers inventing new ways to store and ship the illegal merchandise. Just two weeks ago, Rogelio Mauricio Harris was found smuggling four pounds of methamphetamine hidden in 45 Snickers bars. In that case, Harris was attempting to export the drug to Japan but was caught by authorities at Los Angeles International Airport.
Colombia accounts for "66 percent of all U.S. seizures and 72 percent of the total seized on the East Coast," according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. The U.S. has been working to counteract the growing trade between the U.S. and Colombia.
"We must develop a heroin strategy," U.S. Ambassador Anne Patterson told the Miami Herald. "We're seeing a dramatic increase in heroin purity and seizures."