Harris' arrest came after officers with U.S.
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) conducting
routine baggage inspections became suspicious of
what appeared to be a large box of candy bars
inside his checked luggage.
Upon closer inspection, CBP officers
discovered the 45 individually wrapped,
full-sized "candy bars" which contained a white
substance that was subsequently determined to be
methamphetamine. According to the criminal
complaint, each bar "was coated in a
chocolate-like substance to make the contents of
the package appear to be a real candy bar."
"This seizure is a great example of the
enforcement work that CBP officers perform every
day at our ports of entry, to not only keep
illegal contraband and illegal criminal proceeds
from entering the country, but from leaving the
country as well," said Todd C. Owen, CBP
director of field operations in Los Angeles.
"Our officers were diligent in their border
security duties and prevented over four pounds
of methamphetamine from making it to Japan."
Harris is charged in a federal criminal
complaint with possession of methamphetamine
with intent to distribute. The charge carries a
mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison
and a maximum penalty of life in prison. The
case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's
Office for the Central District of California.
"This scheme involved considerable planning and
preparation and it shows the lengths to which
smugglers will go in an attempt to elude
detection," said Claude Arnold, special agent in
charge for HSI Los Angeles. "The fact this ruse
was detected should serve as a deterrent for
others who might be considering trying similar
tactics to conceal dangerous contraband."