A Pomona man was sentenced Monday to 60 months in federal prison for trying to smuggle nearly seven pounds of cocaine out of the U.S. inside a hollowed out surfboard on a flight bound for Sydney, Australia.
Jesse Edgardo Herrera pleaded guilty in May to one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine, according to a news release from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The 31-year-old was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport in February after U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers observed “irregularities” with the surfboard he had checked for a Qantas Airlines flight, the release stated.
Herrera’s surfboard had a strong smell of fresh lacquer or spray paint, officers said.
An x-ray showed further irregularities, prompting CBP officers to cut off the end of the surfboard, the release stated.
Inside, officers said they found four plastic packages that collectively contained just over three kilograms of cocaine.
The seized cocaine had an estimated street value of more than $750,000 in Australia, according to the CBP.