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Man caught smuggling heroin in juice boxes, police say

You may recall a few weeks ago when a man was busted trying to carry a fully-cooked chicken stuffed with cocaine through customs at Dulles International Airport. Here's another example of the lengths criminals will go to to smuggle drugs into the country.

Federal authorities say a man arriving at Dulles from Guatemala on Dec. 13 was carrying heroin concealed in juice boxes. Officers found about 11.5 pounds of the drug with a street value of up to $600,000, according to court papers. The incident was first reported by the Washington Examiner.

According to court papers, Emmanuel Rios was undergoing a routine search by Customs and Border Protection when an officer noticed that juice boxes he carried did not appear to contain liquid. An officer opened one box and found a light brown powdery substance.

Rios told the office that it was a "fermented juicy powder that you dissolve in water to drink as fruit juice," court papers say. But a test showed it was heroin.

Rios, who carried two crates of the juice boxes with 24 boxes in each, was charged with drug possession with intent to distribute, court papers say.

Washington area police said they have seen a rise in heroin use among young people in recent months. Several overdose deaths have heightened concerns among police and parents. My colleague Josh White recently wrote about the arrests earlier this month of 38 people on charges of dealing heroin and prescription narcotics.

-- Maria Glod

By Maria Glod  |  December 21, 2009; 11:25 AM ET
Categories:  Maria Glod , Narcotics  
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