A man is charged with drug offenses after Customs and Border Protection officials found cocaine-stuffed clams in his luggage at Washington Dulles International Airport, authorities said.
CBP officials said 26-year-old David Pocasangre Vaquiz, of El Salvador, was taken into custody after 15 clams containing plastic bags filled with cocaine were found in his luggage after he arrived at Dulles. Pocasangre Vaquiz arrived on a flight from Panama at about 2 a.m. Saturday, CBP spokesman Steve Sapp said.
The clams held 152 grams — or 5.36 ounces — of cocaine, a relatively small amount in a smuggling case, authorities said. The drugs have a street value of about $10,000.
The smuggling attempt is "one of the oddest we've seen," Christopher Hess, CBP port director for the District, said in a statement.
CBP officers found the cocaine when Pocasangre Vaquiz was referred for a routine secondary inspection. Authorities found a black plastic bag filled with about 80 clams in his luggage. An officer opened one clam and saw that it concealed a cocaine baggie, authorities said. X-rays showed 14 other clams contained cocaine, according to CBP.
Authorities said the clams had been opened, stuffed with the cocaine baggies and glued closed.
An attorney for Pocasangre Vaquiz couldn't immediately be reached for comment.
He is charged in Loudoun County District Court with manufacturing, selling, giving or distributing a controlled substance and transporting drugs into Virginia.