By Maria Jose Subiria
A Baltimore woman pleaded guilty to drug-smuggling charges Tuesday in federal court after being caught trying to bring 2 pounds of heroin through Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, federal prosecutors said.
Zanada Moses, 25, arrived at Hartsfield-Jackson from Panama City, Panama, on Jan. 15, according to the U.S. Attorney's office. Law enforcement officers found the drugs, estimated to be worth $1 million, during a customs inspection, U.S. Attorney David Nahmias said.
Moses told authorities she was going to be paid $20,000 to bring the heroin into the U.S., Nahmias said.
"Public safety is one of our major priorities, and we will continue working closely with our Department of Homeland Security partners to detect those who try to smuggle contraband through our ports-of-entry," said Kenneth Smith, special agent in charge of Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Office of Investigations in Atlanta. "Our special agents, inspectors and screeners have the technical expertise, resources and technology to detect illegal merchandise and contraband in our ports."
Moses was indicted in February on one count each of importation of heroin and possession of heroin with intent to distribute, Nahmias said. She pleaded guilty to both counts, and could receive a maximum sentence of up to 40 years in prison, and a fine of up to $2 million, he said. Sentencing has been scheduled for June 11.
"This prosecution demonstrates the partnership Customs and Border Protection maintains with federal, state and local agencies to effect the apprehension and prosecution of individuals who try to smuggle narcotics through our ports-of-entry," said Robert Gomez, director of operations for Customs and Border Protection in Atlanta. "This case highlights the skill and knowledge of our CBP officers."