Woman, 20, attempts to smuggle 2 pounds of cocaine across Gateway bridge under her clothes
A 20-year-old woman on Saturday attempted to smuggle 2.25 pounds of cocaine across the Gateway International Bridge — under her clothes.
CBP officers say 20-year-old Esmeralda Ramirez, a U.S. citizen who lives in Matamoros, Mexico, applied for entry at the Gateway bridge via the pedestrian lane, according to a federal court records and a news release from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
When officers noticed Ramirez appeared nervous, they sent her to secondary inspection.
According to the criminal complaint:
"Further inspection conducted by Customs and Border Protection Officers revealed a bundle concealed beneath her clothing on the posterior portion of her body."
Ramirez later told officers she was recruited to smuggle the cocaine into the U.S. in exchange for money, adding that she had been successful on two prior occasions during the summer, according to the criminal complaint.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection estimates the cocaine has a street value of approximately $17,340, according to the news release.
Officers arrested Ramirez, who remains in federal custody. An attorney representing Ramirez wasn't immediately available for comment Wednesday.