Authorities arrested a man at the Phoenix airport Saturday after security discovered two pounds of cocaine smuggled inside his checked luggage.
Officials with the Phoenix Police Department arrested 45-year-old Jason Bunts at Sky Harbor Airport at roughly 1:15 a.m. Saturday after agents with the Transportation Security Administration discovered the narcotics in his bag, requiring his American Airlines flight to Chicago to return to the gate, reports the Associated Press.
Police took Blunts to Maricopa County jail, where he faces a charge of suspicion of possession of narcotic drugs for sale. (RELATED: Cocaine Smuggler Did A Shockingly Good Job Pretending To Be Delta Pilot)
Deadly narcotics continue to infiltrate the U.S. due to relentless efforts of drug traffickers taking advantage of America’s deteriorating addiction epidemic. Traffickers often attempt to slip narcotics through American airports undetected.
A man pleaded guilty Aug. 22 to smuggling cocaine on a flight from the Dominican Republic to Newark Airport stuffed inside two pillows.
Authorities with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) arrested 21-year-old Rafael Francisco Bautista Perdomo and fellow conspirator Brenda Mancebo Oct. 11, 2017, when they arrived at Newark Airport with the narcotics haul. Agents found 6.6 pounds of cocaine sewn inside two neck pillows as they attempted to pass through a baggage screening checkpoint.
Mancebo previously pleaded guilty to the same charges and will also be sentenced in December.
Authorities busted a U.S. citizen living in Mexico with 15 pounds of heroin stuffed inside her luggage after she flew into Dulles International Airport in Virginia March 10.
Agents arrested a man at Dulles International Airport in April 2017 after arriving on a flight with a bag of lollipops containing nearly two pounds of heroin. Oddly enough, CBP officers, after conducting an interview, concluded the unidentified man had no idea he was transporting heroin within the lollipops and declined to press charges.
Cocaine deaths spiked by 52 percent across the U.S. between 2015 and 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, following many years of relatively stable numbers.
Officials estimate the substance is now killing roughly 13,000 Americans each year, up from 6,700 in 2015.
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