A Customs and Border Protection Officer smuggled more than a dozen bricks of cocaine from the U.S. Virgin Islands into the United States after he was allowed to bypass security because of his job, prosecutors said on Tuesday March 10th.
The scheme was foiled after Ivan Van Beverhoudt’s flight arrived at Atlanta’s airport and a K-9 sniffed out the drugs in his carry-on luggage on Jan. 10, officials said in a news release. The bricks of cocaine amounted to 17.8 kilograms (39.2 pounds), authorities said.
Beverhoudt, 40, of St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, was recently arraigned on multiple charges including intending to distribute cocaine and having a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.
His lawyer did not immediately return messages seeking comment Tuesday, but court records show that he pleaded not guilty at his arraignment this week.
Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General are jointly investigating this case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Laurel R. Boatright is prosecuting the case.
The Mazatlan Post