For Customs Officials, Sweet Smell Of Success Too Much Cologne, Baggy Clothes, Even Belching Can Help Airport Inspectors Ferret Out Drug Traffickers.

Posted: November 25, 1993

TINICUM — As a particularly rich harvest season for hashish and marijuana in Jamaica comes to a close, U.S. Customs inspectors at the Philadelphia International Airport are staying on full alert as flights arrive from the island country.

Yesterday, four people were held for trial following preliminary hearings in Folcroft District Court on charges they smuggled drugs into the United States on three Air Jamaica flights to Philadelphia. About 65 people have been arrested after arriving at the airport with drugs this year, said David Warren, special agent in charge of U.S. Customs there.

Bulging clothes, belching and heavy cologne were clues that led to the arrest of the four suspects who stood before District Justice Anthony M. Truscello yesterday.

Kendra K. Anderson, 19, of Wilmington, is accused of importing five packages of hashish taped to her thighs and abdomen on Nov. 18. Her infant son was heard crying in the courtroom as she prepared to return to Delaware County Prison.

Norrell Warrick, 19, of the 6000 block of Locust Street, Philadelphia, and Marc Taylor, 19, of the 6000 block of Sansom Street, Philadelphia, face charges of transporting 18 pounds of marijuana to the airport in packages taped to their backs and thighs on a Nov. 14 flight.

Nicole Martin, 26, of Newark, Del., is accused of bringing in 184 grams of hashish in tightly wrapped pellets swallowed before a Nov. 2 flight.

U.S. Customs Inspector Joseph Mariani testified he immediately suspected Warrick when he saw his bulging pockets and smelled heavy cologne, which is commonly used to smother the scent of drugs.

After finding Warrick to be in possession of drugs, Mariani began to question Taylor, who was wearing similar clothing and the same cologne. Although Taylor said he was not traveling with Warrick, Mariani noted that their plane tickets were for adjacent seats. Taylor had even used the same tape to attach marijuana to his body, Mariani said.

In their efforts to locate illegal drugs, Customs inspectors are directed to pay strict attention to body language and to learn when plane tickets were bought and with what form of payment and the passengers' length of stay in the country, Warren said.

"Smugglers usually fly down one day, and they're back the next day," Warren explained.

While the majority of smugglers arrested at the Philadelphia airport have arrived from Jamaica, many have come from Nigeria and Colombia, Warren said.

Because of a recent commitment by Air Jamaica to U.S. Customs to apply stricter drug-search methods on its passengers, the airport has seen fewer large cargo loads of drugs arriving via that airline, Warren said.

But, he warned, body traffickers may be on the rise. In fiscal 1992, 110 arrests of drug smugglers were made at the airport, according to Warren.

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