ORLANDO (CBS Tampa) — A man was arrested Friday after being caught trying to smuggle heroin into the country by hiding the drug inside the candy shells of over 170 lollipops, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, .
Rafael Eduardo Quinonez Jimenez, 45, of Guatemala, arrived at Orlando International Airport after flying in from Guatemala City. It was there that U.S. Customs and Border Protection conducted multiple inspections of Jimenez’s cargo.
During a secondary investigation, it was discovered that large balls of heroin were concealed inside the candy shells, made to appear like regular confections.
“We found … 3.2 kilograms of heroin concealed in candy lollipops,” Orlando CBP supervisor Milly Alvarado told CBS Tampa. “There were three packages with various candies … including 172 lollipops.”
Alvarado added that most persons attempting to smuggle drugs into the country opt to swallow them wrapped in protective coverings such as balloons.
Heroin is an addictive opiate often abused recreationally for the temporary states of euphoria it induces in users. Long-term, repeated abuse of heroin can lead to heart infections and liver disease, among other detrimental effects.
Officers from the ICE and Homeland Security Investigations then apprehended Jimenez and charged him with possession of heroin with intent to distribute.
He could face 10 years to life in federal prison if convicted.