A Nigerian, Michael Ayodele, has excreted heroin pellets he swallowed while being questioned by federal agents at the Washington Dulles International Airport.
Ayodele of Queens, New York, arrived at Dulles on January 16 on a flight from Zurich, Switzerland, according to a criminal complaint charging him with importing a controlled substance.
According to the The Examiner, Ayodele was referred to Customs and Border Protection agents for a secondary inspection. He told the agents that he was returning from Nigeria, where he had been visiting his family.
The complaint said he(Ayodele) asked to use the bathroom. Agents thought they heard items being dropped into a toilet and learnt that Ayodele was expelling the swallowed heroin pellets, according to the complaint, which was filed in Federal Court in Alexandria.
Authorities said the pellets field-tested positive for heroin.
Ayodele is in custody pending further court proceedings. A detention hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.
The pellets weighed about one kilogramme, the complaint said. According to CBP, heroin generally has a street value of about $70,000 per kilogramme.
Officials say drug-smuggling through Dulles is a growing concern, fueled in part by more flights between the airport and high-trafficking nations in Africa and Latin America.
Earlier this month, another man was nabbed after allegedly swallowing about a pound of heroin pellets, according to court documents.
And last week, the leader of an international smuggling ring that targeted the mid-Atlantic by sending heroin in suitcases with couriers who flew into Dulles pleaded guilty. An airport security officer in Ghana has also been charged in connection with the operation.
Other more-creative heroin-smuggling attempts have also been thwarted. More than $315,000 in contraband was found in a traveller’s soccer clothes in December, court documents say.