A man who arrived from Colombia at Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport last month is now facing possible trial after being arrested on charges he had about two pounds of the drug known as Ecstasy in his possession .
Cesar Augusto Henao, 26, is scheduled to be arraigned next week in Fort Lauderdale federal court. He was arrested July 14 following his arrival from Armenia, Colombia, aboard a Spirit Airlines flight, according to a criminal complaint filed by a Drug Enforcement Administration special agent.
This is just the latest instance of a passenger being found in possession of alleged drugs at an airport in South Florida after arriving from South or Central America. A traveler from Honduras was arrested at Miami International Airport June 13 after Customs and Border Protection officers discovered heroin hidden in his luggage.
The Henao case began July 14 at 6:52 p.m. when he stepped off Spirit Airlines Flight #652 from Armenia, a city west of Bogota, the Colombian capital.
Henao “presented himself and his luggage to U.S. Customs and Border Protection for examination,” according to the complaint filed by the DEA agent. “Officers discovered a powdery substance concealed inside the front and back covers of an organizer/agenda.”
A test determined the substance was about 1.8 pounds of Ecstasy, the complaint said.
Some travelers from Central and South America are detained at South Florida airports because of suspicions they are carrying illicit drugs. Sometimes, the drugs are hidden in luggage, other times on their bodies.
Ecstasy, also known as Molly, is a synthetic drug similar to amphetamines and produces euphoria and distortions in sensory perception, according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse website.
On April 19, a traveler from Jamaica was arrested at Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport when officials discovered pouches filled with cocaine in his groin. This arrest came a little more than a month after a traveler arriving from Colombia was detained at MIA who also concealed cocaine in his groin.
The federal public defender listed in the court docket as Henao’s attorney could not be located for comment. But an assistant said the office would not comment on the case.
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