U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION ARRESTS WOMAN WITH METHAMPHETAMINE AT DFW AIRPORT
FORT WORTH, Texas — Following a detention hearing last week in U.S. District Court in Fort Worth, U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey L. Cureton ordered Maricela Morales-Santos, 31, of Torrence, Ca., detained pending further court proceedings. Morales-Santos was arrested on September 16, 2011, by officers with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) as she attempted to smuggle more than 570 grams of methamphetamine out of the country; she has been charged in a criminal complaint with possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance. Today’s announcement was made by U.S. Attorney James T. Jacks of the Northern District of Texas and Jeffrey O. Baldwin, Sr., CBP’s Houston Director of Field Operations.
According to the complaint filed in the case, Morales-Santos, a U.S. citizen, was encountered when CBP officers and K-9 assets conducted outbound operations on a flight from DFW destined for Tokyo, Japan. CBP officers discovered a white crystal powdery substance concealed within her carry-on belongings. The substance tested positive for methamphetamine, leading to her arrest.
“In the course of our duty to safeguard the nation from terrorists and terrorist weapons, we are also charged with disrupting and intercepting the flow of illegal substances,” said Baldwin. “CBP is on the front line of our nation’s borders 24/7; arriving into the country or departing for a foreign destination, we are there maintaining our nation’s security.”
U.S. Attorney Jacks praised the investigative work of CBP. While anti-terrorism is CBP’s primary mission, the inspection process associated with this mission, conducted at ports of entry, results in impressive numbers of various enforcement actions. For more information on CBP, visit http://www.cbp.gov/
Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew J. Gulde is in charge of the prosecution.
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