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Fly Jamaica Airways crew member busted attempting to smuggle $160,000 worth of cocaine in his pants

March 27, 2018  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Fly Jamaica Airways crew member busted attempting to smuggle $160,000 worth of cocaine in his pants

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A crew member with Fly Jamaica Airways was charged with drug smuggling after he was reportedly busted attempting to smuggle close to nine pounds of cocaine through New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Federal authorities indicated that during a security search late last week, Hugh Hall, a citizen of Jamaica, was caught with four packages filled with white powder taped to his legs and concealed underneath his pants. Authorities verified that the powder tested positive for cocaine — roughly $160,000 worth, a statement from U.S. Customs and Border Protection revealed.

Hall was arrested on Saturday on federal charges of illegal drug smuggling, the Washington Post reported.

Federal officials said Hall and the other crew members from Fly Jamaica Airways Flight 272 were chosen for inspection Saturday at the airport. During the searches, Customs and Border Protection agents felt an object around Hall’s leg while he was being patted down.

When interviewed by agents, Hall, who flew from Montego Bay, Jamaica, said that the packages were filled with cocaine.

He made a court appearance on Monday and was ordered to be detained, the U.S. attorney’s office reported.

“This seizure is an example of our CBP officers being vigilant in protecting the U.S. from the distribution of illicit drugs,” Leon Hayward, acting director of the Customs and Border Protection’s New York field operations, announced in a statement.

In 2016, there were over 63,600 fatal drug overdoses in the U.S. amid an opioid crisis, according to data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Though not an opiate, cocaine is a highly addictive controlled substance and was involved in almost 6,700 overdose deaths the year prior — or almost 13% of the total number of overdose deaths.

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