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Jamaican man dressed in pilot's uniform found with cocaine hidden in luggage at New York airport

Authorities say man also had phony Delta Airlines ID badges among belongings

Customs officials say they found cocaine in the luggage of a man pretending to be a "dead-heading crewmember" on a flight from Jamaica to New York.
Customs officials say they found cocaine in the luggage of a man pretending to be a "dead-heading crewmember" on a flight from Jamaica to New York. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – A Jamaican man dressed in a pilot's uniform was stopped at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport, where he was found with cocaine in his suitcase, federal authorities said Monday.

Mario Hudson claimed he was a "dead-heading crewmember" when he stepped off a flight from Kingston, Jamaica, on March 27 while dressed in a pilot's uniform, U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman Anthony Bucci said.

"Dead-heading" is an airline industry term for someone who is flying as a passenger on company business to get to another airport for work.

CBP officers inspected his belongings and found two fraudulent Delta Airlines identification badges, as well as cocaine in his luggage, Bucci said.

About 5 pounds of cocaine with an estimated street value of $85,000 were seized, Bucci said.

Hudson, who may have been inspired by Leonardo DiCaprio's character in the 2002 movie "Catch Me If You Can," was arrested on federal narcotics smuggling charges.


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