Man Arrested at Orlando Airport for Cocaine in His Shoes
The arrest of a man at Orlando International Airport after a search of his shoes provided a stark reminder of the risks of attempting to bring any illegal drugs to an airport. The 25-year old was flying from Sangster International Airport in Jamaica to Orlando and made it to the Customs and Border Patrol Checkpoint, then got pulled aside. He was arrested and charged with trying to smuggle cocaine through Orlando’s top airport.
Arrests at airports are not uncommon. Airports maintain heavy security today and people are frequently arrested on charges that range from smuggling prohibited drugs or firearms to disorderly conduct. Being arrested at an airport means you could be facing federal charges, which may bring more severe penalties.
How Did The Passenger at OIA Get Arrested for Drugs?
Federal agents reported that security agents had caught the passenger trying to smuggle cocaine through Orlando International Airport by hiding the drug in his shoes. As he reached the Customs and Border Patrol checkpoint at OIA, he was pulled aside after a customs officer noticed an alert that his name and phone number had been connected to another person who had been arrested for drug trafficking.
That prompted agents to conduct a second inspection of both his luggage and shoes using X-rays. They discovered that the shoes packed inside his luggage had suspicious spots in the insoles. Agents pulled seven shoes out of the luggage and recovered 10 plastic-wrapped bundles of a white powder substance between the insole and outsole of the shoes. The substance, weighing about 2 pounds, tested positive for cocaine.
The man now faces federal charges of possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute and was transported to the Seminole County Jail. Incidents like this are not uncommon. In February, federal agents made an arrest at Miami International Airport after reporting that a K-9 detected 13 kilograms of cocaine inside a commercial passenger plane.
What Charges Can You Face for Bringing Drugs to an Airport?
Ever since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, federal and state officials have increased security at airports, and the Transportation Security Administration now uses more advanced technologies to catch anybody trying to sneak a forbidden item onto a plane. That can include firearms, knives, or explosives.
Airport security also works to prevent other crimes. That can include:
- Disruptive behavior
- Assault of an airline worker
- Shoplifting or theft
- and drug possession.
The TSA checkpoints are the threshold between state and federal jurisdiction. After you’ve passed through the checkpoint, you’re walking on federal territory. In the past two decades, international airports have created increasingly strict rules that travelers must abide by before they’re allowed to board a plane, from body scans and pat-downs to bag searches.
If that sounds like a lot of security, the truth is that these travel hubs are still popular spots for drug crimes because so many people come through on a single day that drug users and sellers continue to see what they can get away with.
Anyone caught carrying drugs in their luggage or on their person at an airport will be immediately arrested and detained by the airport’s security. Drug crimes at airports can result in charges from both state and federal authorities, with severe consequences. Anyone caught with a large amount of any drug can be charged under the Federal Controlled Substances Act.
If you’re facing criminal charges from an arrest at an airport, it’s important to consult with an experienced drug defense attorney right away to review your case and provide the kind of experienced assistance you’re going to need moving forward.
Knowledgeable Drug Defense Attorneys in Orlando
If you’re facing drug charges from an arrest at the airport, it’s in your best interest to obtain a defense attorney as quickly as possible. The longer you wait, the less likely you are to mitigate the charges you face before you have to appear in court.
The Umansky Law Firm is the top choice for criminal defense attorneys in the Orlando area. With more than 100 years of combined experience, our knowledgeable team has won thousands of criminal defense cases. Helping people get a second chance at life is what we do best.
Attorney Brice Aikens is an experienced federal criminal defense attorney who is dedicated to representing those facing criminal charges in the Greater Orlando area and surrounding Central Florida communities, and he can assist on your federal case as well. Don’t let your life be defined by a single mistake. Call The Umansky Law Firm or contact us online today.