woman admits to smuggling drugs in wedge heels
PHILADELPHIA – Iveliza Perez, 25, of Camden, NJ, pleaded guilty today to attempting to smuggle approximately two kilograms of cocaine into the United States from Jamaica using wedge heels. Perez was charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 500 or more grams of cocaine. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for May 23, 2014. Perez faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison with a maximum possible sentence of 40 years.
In early to mid-May 2013, Perez was approached by two individuals about participating in an operation to smuggle cocaine from Jamaica into the United States. The two individuals offered to pay her $500 before traveling to Jamaica and stated that they would pay her another $3,000 to $4,000 upon returning with the drugs which were to be hidden in shoes. Perez met with other co-conspirators on several occasions before the trip. The co-conspirators paid for her flight and took care of all of the arrangements for her to stay at a villa in Montego Bay, Jamaica. While Perez was at the villa, one of her co-conspirators arranged to have her bags packed with the cocaine, hidden in three pairs of wedge heels. The defendant and the co-conspirator returned from Jamaica together and were supposed to be picked up from the airport by the other co-conspirator. Upon her return to the U.S., the defendant was caught at the airport with 1.992 kilograms of cocaine concealed in her luggage.
The case was investigated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations and U.S. Customs and Border Protection with assistance from the Philadelphia Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Matthew J.D. Hogan.
UNITED STATES ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, EASTERN DISTRICTof PENNSYLVANIA
Suite 1250, 615 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
PATTY HARTMAN, Media Contact, 215-861-8525