NEWARK, N.J. -- Nearly $90,000 worth of cocaine was found stuffed inside what could have passed as keepsakes from a traveler’s trip to Peru, officials said Monday as they revealed photos of the cleverly disguised contraband discovered in luggage at Newark Liberty International Airport.
Karlo Oscata, a U.S. citizen who returned from a trip to Lima, Peru, on May 29, faces narcotics smuggling charges in connection with the bust, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
While inspecting Oscata’s checked suitcase, Customers and Border Protection officers discovered a picture frame, six wood coasters, a glass bottle, and two “unusually heavy” jars, the agency said.
That raised a red flag and Oscata was taken into a private search room where, upon further inspection, officers found a white powdery substance that tested positive for cocaine inside the picture frame, coasters and bottles, officials said.
In all, some 5 pounds of cocaine was found allegedly in the passenger’s bag -- a stash with street value of about $87,000, CBP said.