Two nervous-looking women with beehive hairdos were arrested early Sunday morning at JFK International Airport after an inspection revealed over two pounds of cocaine sewn into their wigs and hair weaves, according to court reports.
The two women, Kiana Howell and Makeeba Graham, were fidgety during routine questioning by Customs and Border Protection, and “appeared as if they were going to faint,” according to a federal court affidavit. The strange behavior prompted a pat down, during which a strange bulge was found in the defendant’s hair weave. When asked to remove the hairpiece Howell said that she could not because “she had a package that was sewn into it.”
Howell claimed that she did not know the contents of the package but that her boyfriend in Guyana “told her to bring that package under her hair weave to the United States for him,” The Smoking Gun reports.
Howell’s weave was removed at a medical facility, where investigators removed a wrapped plastic package with nearly a kilo of cocaine. Graham refused to remove her weave as well, claiming it was sewn into her natural hair. Her weave was removed as well, revealing more than a kilo of cocaine.
Howell and Graham are both facing drug-smuggling charges.
Graham was released from prison on $100,000 bond, while Howell remains in custody for a hearing scheduled for Thursday afternoon.