A California man was arrested after customs agents at Philadelphia International Airport found more than 72 pounds of marijuana in baggage being loaded onto a passenger plane bound for Ireland.
Bryan Rodriguez, 34, of Monterey Park, was arrested Monday on felony charges of narcotics possession with the intent to distribute, Customs and Border Protection announced Friday.
After x-ray exams of the outbound luggage on the plane revealed anomalies in two suitcases, drug dogs singled out both. At an inspection station, agents found black vacuumed-sealed packs of marijuana.
At that point, Homeland Security Investigations officers seized the drugs, and arrested Mr. Rodriguez.
The 72 pounds and three ounces of marijuana found in the luggage is worth about $160,000 stateside, but could go for up to $460,000 on Irish streets.
Monday’s arrest was not the first time a passenger attempted to use commercial air travel to smuggle weed overseas.
Passengers at Dulles Washington International Airport attempted to fly weed to Nigeria on commercial aircraft twice in recent months.
In October 2022, one passenger tried to smuggle 10 pounds and six ounces of cannabis, worth about $30,000 in Nigeria. In January 2023, officials busted a flier for two pounds and four ounces of weed, worth about $6,500 in Nigeria.