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Contraband
08/22/2010

ICE, CBP seize 1,207 grams of heroin at San Juan's international airport

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents, working jointly with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers, on Aug. 19, seized 1,207 grams of heroin at the Luis Munoz Marin International Airport and arrested a U.S. citizen for attempting to import illegal contraband.

Michael Guzman-Betancourt, 23, was arrested by CBP officers during a routine inspection when he arrived in Puerto Rico from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

CBP officers selected the suspected passenger for further inspection, and after careful examination, it was discovered that Guzman-Betancourt had the drug concealed on his person.

CBP officers arrested the subject and transferred him to ICE custody to continue the investigation.

"Smugglers who think that our ports of entry are easy transshipment points for contraband are seriously mistaken," said Roberto Escobar Vargas, ICE's special agent in charge of HSI in San Juan. "We will continue working with our federal, state and local partners to identify and apprehend those who, in flagrant violation of our customs laws, try to introduce illegal narcotics into Puerto Rico."

Area Port Director Maria Palmer stated: "Customs and Border Protection officers have the experience, training and ability to intercept those who attempt to smuggle drugs and other harmful items into the country. This successful interdiction demonstrates our officers' unwavering commitment to keep our borders secure."

Guzman-Betancourt is in federal custody and was transferred to the Metropolitan Detention Center in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, awaiting the outcome of his case.

The ICE investigation into this case is ongoing.