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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Georgia

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Airline Passenger Imported Drugs From Guatemala

ATLANTA - Kenneth Lewis Martin, 25, of Guatemala, was sentenced today to serve over four years in federal prison for importing and possession with intent to distribute heroin.

“Our commitment to the safety of our citizens includes safeguarding our airports and holding accountable those who attempt to breach that security,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates.  “Thanks to vigilant Customs and Border Protection agents, this defendant was unable to slip through security with the drugs he concealed in his suitcase.”

According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges and other information presented in court:  On May 28, 2012, Martin arrived in Atlanta on Delta Air Lines flight 456, which originated in Guatemala City, Guatemala.  Martin then claimed one piece of checked luggage from the baggage carousel.  When Customs and Border Protection agents inspected Martin’s luggage, they found 2.5 kilograms of heroin hidden within artwork.  Martin’s ultimate destination was Providence, Rhode Island. 

“With today’s sentencing, Homeland Security Investigations (HIS) sends the clear message that no matter the level of sophistication, HSI will vigilantly investigate drug smuggling activities and bring all those involved to justice.” said Brock D. Nicholson, Special Agent in Charge of HSI Atlanta. “HSI will continue working with our Department of Homeland Security, federal, and local partners to identify, arrest, and prosecute those involved in the illegal trafficking of narcotics.”

United States District Judge Willis B. Hunt, Jr. sentenced Martin to four years, two months in prison followed by three years of supervised release.  Martin was convicted of these charges on November 28, 2012 after he pleaded guilty.

 This case was investigated by Special Agents with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, National Security Investigations Division.

Assistant United States Attorneys C. Brock Brockington and Tasheika Hinson prosecuted the case.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Atlanta recommends parents and children learn about the dangers of drugs at the following web site:

For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at or (404) 581-6016.  The Internet address for the HomePage for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Georgia is

Updated April 8, 2015