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Feds Bust Heroin Trafficking Ring At Dulles Airport | News

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Feds Bust Heroin Trafficking Ring At Dulles Airport

WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- Federal agents have busted a massive international heroin trafficking ring that was working out of Dulles International Airport.

The ring allegedly used couriers, including United States citizens from our area, to transport the drugs from the West African nation of Ghana to Dulles.

The couriers allegedly earned $15,000 per trip for carrying up to a kilo of heroin. That amount is roughly the size of a brick. Its street value: a quarter of a million dollars.

The 15 page-indictment details an elaborate scheme in which couriers smuggled heroin on direct, commercial flights into Dulles.

"They used specific suitcases, carry-on bags as well as luggage. They were lined with the heroin and brought aboard airplanes and ultimately destined for the United States, in hidden compartments," said the Drug Enforcement Administration's Ava Cooper-Davis.

From Dulles, the ring leaders distributed the heroin to D.C. and Northern Virginia, Baltimore and New York, according to the indictment.

"West Africa really has arrived on the map as a significant trans-shipment point for deadly illegal drugs. These drugs aren't produced in West Africa, but heroin, cocaine, other deadly drugs are now being shipped through West Africa to Europe and the U.S.," said Neil MacBride, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.

According to the indictment, the DEA discovered and dismantled the ring's East Coast distribution network less than a year after it opened for business.

Federal agents staged simultaneous takedowns Thursday in Ghana and Maryland, leading to the arrest of two men - one from Germantown, another from Greenbelt. Two women from Alexandria, Virginia were arrested as well for their roles as alleged couriers.

Written by Andrea McCarren