Cocaine hidden in tomato paste can found at NYC airport, feds say

Cocaine hidden in tomato paste can found at NYC airport, feds say

A traveler who arrived at a New York City airport on Saturday had bigger plans than making pasta.

He was caught with cocaine inside a can of tomato paste, authorities said. 

Keiter Elian Rijo Morales, a citizen of the Dominican Republic, arrived at John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens from Santo Domingo, the Dominican capital, when U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers inspected a large metal can he had with him. 

A traveler was caught with cocaine inside a can of tomato paste in a New York City airport, authorities said. 

A traveler was caught with cocaine inside a can of tomato paste in a New York City airport, authorities said.  (U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

The officers opened the container, which was labeled as “Bella Tomato Paste,” the agency said in a news release. 

Inside was five pounds of a white power that tested positive for cocaine and was valued at $ 160,000, authorities said. Morales was arrested for allegedly importing a controlled substance and he handed off to Homeland Security Investigations agents.

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“The smuggling of illicit drugs poses a significant threat to our nation, and CBP does its part in keeping these drugs off our streets.” said Troy Miller, Director of CBP’s New York Field Operations. 

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