On Monday, 18-year-old Jose Manuel Torres Perez flew into South Florida with big bags of candy. But federal investigators said they weren't Halloween leftovers — they were a way for Torres to smuggle 21 pounds of cocaine.
Torres, of Puerto Rico, is charged with importing five kilograms or more of cocaine into the United States. If convicted, he could serve from 10 years to life in prison, federal officials said.
According to a criminal complaint, Torres arrived at 2:30 p.m. on an Avianca Airlines flight from Bogotá to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
Inside his luggage, a Customs and Border Protection officer found five paper shopping bags of clothes and bags of candy. The bag bottoms were abnormally thick, the complaint said, so they were were sliced open. Inside was a white powder that tested positive for cocaine.
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