A 74-year-old woman faces charges of smuggling heroin after $180,000 worth of the drug was found in her luggage Friday when she arrived at Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport, authorities said.
Maria Resfa Garzon De Arenas made an initial appearance in federal court later Friday, federal prosecutors said. She was charged with importing heroin into the United States and possession of heroin with intent to distribute. If convicted, she could face up to life in prison.
Garzon De Arenas arrived in Fort Lauderdale about 3 p.m. Friday from Bogota, Colombia, authorities said. “During the inspection of Garzon De Arenas’ personal belongings, U.S. Customs and Border Protection personnel discovered several personal effects in the luggage in which heroin was concealed. The heroin was sewn within the lining of notebook binders, a jewelry case and in a false cavity of women’s slippers.”
About 6.5 pounds of heroin was found, valued at $180,000, according to federal prosecutors. Garzon De Arenas will appear in court Wednesday for a detention hearing, authorities said.