At the hearing, Cabanillas-Torres admitted that
on Oct. 4, 2012, she arrived at IAH as a
passenger aboard a flight from Quito, Ecuador.
Her ticket indicated she was continuing her
travel through Houston to Newark, N.J. Upon her
arrival at IAH, CBP officers questioned
Cabanillas-Torres about her visit to the United
States and examined her and her luggage for
prohibited items or contraband.
During this inspection, she presented herself,
along with two hard-sided suitcases, to CBP
officers for examination. Officers removed the
contents and noticed the empty suitcases seemed
to be unusually heavy. Officers discovered
anomalies along the inner frame of each bag when
they X-rayed the two suitcases. Based on these
anomalies and the unusual weight of the
suitcases, officers drilled into the two
suitcases. They discovered a brown powdery
substance within the walls of each suitcase,
which field tested positive for heroin.
Officers then dismantled one suitcase and found
several small bundles of heroin inside weighing
1.2 kilograms. Officers sent the second suitcase
intact to the CBP forensic laboratory to be
disassembled to remove the suspected heroin
inside. The second suitcase also contained
bundles of heroin. The total amount of heroin
found in both suitcases was 1.934 kilograms (4.2
lbs.) with 82.7 percent purity.