Man arrested at JFK after authorities find cocaine smuggled in false bottom of suitcase

JAMAICA, Queens — A traveler was arrested at John F. Kennedy International Airport Sunday when U. S. Customs and Border Protection officers discovered he had more than clothes in his suitcase.

Dhroepchand Badal arrived on a flight from Paramaribo, Suriname, via Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.

During an inspection, CBP officers noticed his suitcase was unusually heavy and the sides were thicker than normal. The officers probed the bag and discovered a white powdery substance, which tested positive for cocaine.

Badal was arrested for the importation of a controlled substance and was turned over to Homeland Security Investigations. The total weight of cocaine seized was approximately 15 pounds with an approximate street value of more than $255,000.

“Our CBP officers continue to demonstrate daily vigilance and excellence in detecting those who would try to smuggle illegal narcotics,” said Robert E. Perez, Director, Field Operations New York.

Badal now faces federal narcotics smuggling charges and will be prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the U.S. Eastern District Court of New York.