A former prospect for the Tampa Bay Rays Major League Baseball team was caught trying to smuggle six pounds of cocaine in his luggage last month, Customs and Border Protection officers announced Wednesday.
Cristian Vasquez Martinez, 21, was arrested at John F. Kennedy airport on June 29. Officials said they found cocaine shimmied in between the soles of four pairs of sneakers in his suitcase.
Customs officials stopped Martinez after he got off a flight in a random search, said John Saleh, a spokesman with the New York field office of Customs and Border Protection. After searching his suitcase, they found “unusually heavy” shoes, in which they found the hidden cocaine, said Saleh.
Martinez arrived at the airport from the Dominican Republic, on a flight from Santo Domingo.
Martinez was a pitcher for a Tampa Bay Rays affiliate team in the Dominican Republic, said a spokesman for the Rays speaking on behalf of the organization. But Martinez was released last month for “performance issues,” said Kurish.
Using whatever is at hand
NEW YORK. This is the second time in as many weeks that someone has been caught trying to smuggle cocaine through shoes at JFK. Last week, $107,000 worth of coke was found in shoes left in an abandoned suitcase, also from the Dominican Republic.
But shoes are not the only thing smugglers use. Agents have found drugs smuggled in ceramic cats and cargo shorts — and last year, agents arrested a New Jersey man for trying to get six pounds of cocaine through JFK in a Nintendo Wii.