HOUSTON (CN) – A Tanzanian man who excreted more than 100 plastic-wrapped chunks of heroin after he was arrested at an airport was charged with possession with intent to distribute the drug, federal prosecutors said.
Bryan Mukama Hans, 30, was arrested June 3 as he arrived at Bush Intercontinental Airport and applied for a tourist visa, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement.
Customs and Border Protection agents detained him due to inconsistencies in his story, prosecutors said.
Hans’ itinerary showed he was to depart the United States for Tanzania via Doha, Qatar on June 18.
“According to the criminal complaint filed in the case, during the inspection process, he informed CBP officers he was traveling to the United States for a family reunion in Utah,” prosecutors said in the statement. “However, his travel reservation did not show domestic travel from Houston to Utah, nor did CBP officers discover any additional travel reservations for Hans to travel from Houston to Utah, according to the complaint.
“Follow-up investigation also allegedly revealed there was a reunion scheduled, but that it was not set to occur until more than two weeks after he was set to depart the United States.”
Officers took Hans to a hospital after he consented to an X-ray of his stomach, prosecutors said.
“Shortly after the exam, Hans allegedly passed approximately 22 plastic-wrapped pellets from his body, one of which was field tested and revealed the presence of heroin,” prosecutors said. “The exam allegedly revealed the presence of foreign bodies within his digestive tract.
Hans stayed at the hospital until he excreted all the pellets, and was discharged into federal agents’ custody.
It is not unusual for smugglers to swallow drugs to sneak them past checkpoints. Many have died of overdoses when the wrappers, often balloons, burst inside them.