“People bring food in all the time. It’s hard to tell,” he told Channel 2. “These things were professionally sealed in a professional cannery. It’s hard to find these things sometimes.”
An investigation by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security found that the alleged smugglers had made at least 90 trips between Atlanta and Costa Rica since 2015, Pak said in the news release. The operation is believed to have smuggled more than 375 kilograms (about 827 pounds).
“By taking out this organization, it has a long-lasting impact of removing those who profit off addition,” Pak said.
The following is the list of people charged in connection with the scheme and indicted March 27:
• Anthony Rondel Blair, 40, Atlanta;
• Shondra “Frenchie” Vernon, 30, Atlanta;
• Michaelle Rosa, 36, Jonesboro;
• Jason Arias, 35, Charlotte;
• Daniel “Russia” Newton, 29, Charlotte;
• David Lomba Barros, 32, Boston;
• Madison Renee Kelleher, 27, Boston;
• Angelica Dominique Cuyugan Tuzon, 25, Reston, Va.
Pak said the investigation is ongoing, and more arrests are possible.
Canned fruit is one of many vessels agents have found drugs inside at the Atlanta airport recently. In February, $40,000 worth of cocaine was seized from inside Honduran decorative figurines, AJC.com previously reported.
RELATED: Cocaine hidden inside Honduran figurines seized at Atlanta airport
The same month, a kilogram of heroin was found inside a factory-sealed coffee bag within a Guatemalan man’s luggage at the airport.
AJC.com has reached out to the CBP for any updates on those two investigations.
MORE: Guatemalan blend: Heroin found hidden inside coffee bag at Atlanta airport
Going beyond canned fruit, the Savannah seaport has had multiple cocaine busts within fresh fruit shipments in the past few years. In November 2018, $19 million worth of cocaine was seized, and $6 million of drugs was found in 2016.
The CBP has previously said it seizes more than 5,000 pounds of drugs on a typical day from ports of entry throughout the U.S.
In other news:
At least one gunman is on the run after two people were shot and killed outside a Taco Bell off Ponce De Leon Avenue.??