Man Arrested for Smuggling Cocaine in His Diaper

By Paul Gaita 12/31/14

Authorities found 1.5 kilos of the drug in a diaper worn by a man coming from the Dominican Republic.


Marlon Andujar Penzo gave news reporters an early Christmas present this year by providing them with what is likely to be one of the most unusual and disastrous attempts to smuggle illegal drugs into the United States. The Dominican national arrived at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport on December 24 via Jet Blue Flight 710 from Santo Domingo, and exhibited what was described as “nervous behavior” during questioning by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers, according to documents filed in Brooklyn Federal Court. When CBP officers conducted a pat-down on Penzo, they discovered a bulky item around his groin, which prompted supervisors to conduct a more extensive search of his pants.

Penzo was found to be wearing a diaper that contained 1.5 kilos of a white powder substance that tested positive for cocaine. When interrogated by Homeland Security agents, Penzo admitted that he had been paid $6,000 to transport the drugs into the U.S. Penzo now joins a long list of individuals whose creative attempts to bring drugs into the U.S. through JFK have proven unsuccessful. This year alone, these include Oral Anthony Caines, a Guyana native who was nabbed one week prior to Penzo for attempting to smuggle cocaine inside containers of curry and rice, and his countryman Wilton Sinclair, who was arrested in November for transporting 18 pounds of cocaine in liquid form concealed in four bottles of rum.

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Paul Gaita lives in Los Angeles. He has contributed to the Los Angeles Times, Variety, LA Weekly, and The Los Angeles Beat, among many other publications and websites.