U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Sunday arrested a woman after finding nearly eight pounds of heroin and a little more than a pound of cocaine hidden inside her luggage.
Ceidy Sandoval, a U.S. citizen born in 1996, was charged with possession with the intent to distribute heroin and cocaine.
CBP encountered her at the Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridge where she arrived as a passenger in a commercial bus, according to the complaint.
She was referred to secondary inspection after a CBP officer noticed tampering in the inner lining of her suitcase and her upright rolling duffel bag.
“A physical search of the luggage revealed 4 vacuum sealed packages hidden behind the luggage’s inner lining,” the complaint said.
Sandoval told the Homeland Security Investigations special agent who interviewed her that an individual she met in Michoacan, Mexico, where she had been living with relatives, provided her the luggage and instructed her to travel to Atlanta where she would turn the luggage over to an unknown individual, according to the complaint.
“Sandoval stated that she was going to be paid $3,000.00 United States Dollars (USD) and travel expenses to deliver the luggage bags and later retrieve them from the unknown individual loaded with approximately $10,000.00 USD in bulk currency,” the affidavit said.
When asked whether she thought her $3,000 payment to transport $10,000 to Mexico seemed excessive, Sandoval agreed and said the payment made her believe the luggage contained “something bad.”
“Sandoval stated that she did not want to ask the individual in Mexico any questions about the luggage bags or its possible contents to avoid any problems,” the complaint said.
She made a first appearance on Monday in front of U.S. Magistrate Judge Nadia S. Medrano and was being temporarily held without bond pending a detention and probable cause hearing scheduled for Tuesday, court records indicate.