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Press Release

Man Admits Smuggling Chocolate-Covered Heroin Into Newark Liberty International Airport

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Jersey

TRENTON, N.J. – A Guatemalan citizen today admitted transporting three kilograms of heroin that had been coated in chocolate in a failed attempt to bring the drugs undetected through Newark Liberty International Airport, Acting U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick announced.


Jacobo Leonel Orellana-Estrada, 21, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Michael A. Shipp in Trenton federal court to an information charging him with one count of possession with intent to distribute more than one kilogram of heroin.


According to the documents filed in this case and statements made in court:


On June 11, 2017, Orellana-Estrada arrived at Newark Liberty International Airport as a passenger aboard a commercial airline flight from Guatemala City, Guatemala. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers stopped Orellana-Estrada at customs inspection and searched his luggage. In one of his bags, they discovered what appeared to be six small single-layer cakes that were actually packages of heroin coated in a thin layer of chocolate and wrapped in paper.


The count of possession with intent to distribute more than one kilogram of heroin carries a maximum potential penalty of life in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 29, 2018.


Acting U.S. Attorney Fitzpatrick credited special agents of CBP, under the direction of Acting Director of Field Operations Leon Hayward, New York Field Office, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Newark Field Office, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Debra Parker, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.  


The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sara F. Merin of the Narcotics/OCDETF unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark.


Defense counsel: .Kevin Carlucci, Esq., Assistant Federal Public Defender

Updated October 26, 2017

Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 17-405