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3 charged with smuggling heroin pellets into Atlanta airport

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Updated: 1/15 11:20 am
ATLANTA (WSB-TV) — Federal agents made several arrests of people trying to smuggle drugs into Atlanta by swallowing pellets of heroin.

The pellets are about the size of a carrot chunks and experts said so-called “swallowers” can ingest as many as 65.

Federal agents recently made several arrests. In one case, Drug Enforcement agents received a tip that three suspects crossed the border from Mexico, boarded a Delta flight from San Diego and flew to Hartsfield Jackson International Airport. Agents caught up with them as they exited their gate in Atlanta.

Pablo Huerta, Esteban Lopez, and Angel Omar Mota were identified at the airport, according to a federal affidavit.

“At the time of this complaint, (Esteban) Lopez has passed 52 pellets, one of which ruptured as it was being passed and was unable to be retrieved for evidence.” said Scott Trepanier, DEA agent.

The three suspects admitted to swallowing the pellets, but claimed they did not know what they contained, according to an affidavit.

“Mota admitted to swallowing approximately 40 to 50 pellets of an unknown substance earlier that day in Mexico,” according the affidavit.

DEA agents have field tested a sample of the pellets passed by all three subjects and confirmed that the pellets tested positive for the substance of heroin, according to affidavit. Huerta, Lopez, and Mota, will all be arraigned Wednesday on federal drug charges.


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