Two Men Busted Trying To Smuggle Cocaine In Their Pants

By William Georgiades 04/28/17

Customs agents discovered 23 pounds of cocaine taped to their legs.

Elvin Montilla-Sosa and Ariel Garcia with cocaine taped to their legs.
Elvin Montilla-Sosa and Ariel Garcia with cocaine taped to their legs.

Two men were arrested last week (April 19) at New York’s JFK airport for attempting to smuggle drugs strapped to their legs.

The men had more than 10 kilos of cocaine in packages taped to their legs, beneath their clothing, while one of the men had cocaine also taped onto his back.

The men were traveling on the same Delta flight from the Dominican Republic, according to the Washington Post

Ariel Garcia, a U.S. citizen, was wearing baggy clothes with “unusual bulging” around his calves and legs. Upon a further search, he was found to have 11 pounds of cocaine taped to his legs. Garcia later confessed to being paid about $8,000 to smuggle the drugs through JFK.

Elvin Montilla-Sosa, a citizen of the Dominican Republic, was found carrying 12 pounds of cocaine taped to his legs and back, hidden under spandex. Montilla-Sosa also confessed to being paid to smuggle the drugs into the United States.

Between the two men, officers discovered 23 pounds of cocaine worth close to $380,000. Leon Hayward, the acting director of CBP’s New York field operations, stated in a news release, "This latest seizure demonstrates our CBP officers being ever vigilant in protecting the United States from the distribution of these illicit drugs."

Both men were arrested and handed over to Homeland Security and are facing federal narcotics smuggling charges at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District Court of New York.

It’s been a lively spring for the Customs and Border Protection officers at JFK—earlier this month, a fake airline pilot attempted to bring in $85,000 worth of cocaine from Jamaica into JFK.

Last month at the same airport, officers said they discovered two other passengers on separate days with drugs taped under their pants, the New York Post reported.

Those seizures equaled to 6.8 kilos (15 pounds) of cocaine, and both of those individuals were also traveling from the Dominican Republic. At that time agents tweeted out that it felt like “déjà vu all over again.”

Even officials have been caught up in these operations. This month, the New York Daily News reported a plea deal may be in the works for Fernando Marte, an ex-customs officer who was arrested for attempting to escort two drug smugglers who had arrived from the Dominican Republic to JFK carrying 100 pounds of cocaine between them.

At the time, Marte had been a customs official for five years. He is currently free on a $1 million bond and faces a mandatory 10-year prison sentence.

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William Georgiades is a former editor at EsquireBlack Book, the New York Post and the Grapevine and has written for several publications including New York MagazineVanity Fair, the London Times and GQ. He has been the features editor at The Fix since 2013. You can find him on Linkedin.