February 25, 2024
Man arrested for allegedly smuggling cocaine in bags of jumbo shrimp at John F. Kennedy International Airport

NEW YORK — A traveler at John F. Kennedy International Airport has been arrested for allegedly trying to smuggle cocaine inside of bags of jumbo shrimp, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.

Zacharie Scott, 22, is a citizen of the U.S. who lives in Guyana. He was arrested Friday while going through customs at JFK after arriving via an American Airlines flight from Guyana.

During the customs screening process, his two suitcases were selected for a secondary screening. Customs and Border Protection officers discovered loose clothing and multiple packages of frozen jumbo shrimp wrapped in sealed plastic inside, according to the complaint filed. Investigators say the packages of shrimp were cut open to reveal brick-shaped objects filled with a white, powdery substance.

A field test of the powder revealed the presence of cocaine, approximately 40 pounds worth in total, the complaint alleges.

Scott allegedly told investigators that he had brough the packages into the U.S. in exchange for a payment of $5,000 or $6,000.

If convicted, Scott could face a maximum of 20 years in prison.

A judge ordered Scott to be detained until his bail hearing Tuesday.

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