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Narcotics
01/22/2013

San Francisco airport passenger pleads guilty to cocaine smuggling

SAN FRANCISCO — A New York man who attempted to smuggle nearly two pounds of cocaine out of the United States concealed inside his body faces more than six years in prison after pleading guilty last Thursday to federal drug charges.

Emmanuel Amankwa, 55, of New York City, was taken into custody at San Francisco International Airport Oct. 23, 2012, just prior to boarding a flight for Japan. An investigation by U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) revealed that Amankwa was carrying 995 grams of cocaine in 100 latex-wrapped pellets inside his body. Amankwa pleaded guilty Jan. 17 to possessing with the intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine.

Amankwa was initially charged in a criminal complaint filed the day of his arrest. A federal grand jury subsequently returned a one-count indictment against him Nov. 8, 2012.

Under the terms of his plea agreement, Amankwa faces a sentence of 60 to 80 months in federal prison, followed by four years of supervised release. He must also pay $16,178 in restitution for the medical costs associated with collecting the cocaine pellets he had ingested. U.S. District Judge Jeffrey S. White is scheduled to sentence Amankwa April 11.