-By John Lynds
The lawyer for an East Boston woman busted for allegedly trying to traffic cocaine into Boston through Logan International Airport on Sunday said her client was a victim of drug dealers who used her as a “drug mule”.
Karen Morla Ramos, 22, of East Boston was arraigned Monday in East Boston District Court on cocaine trafficking charges after Massachusetts State Police troopers, Customs and Border Protection officers, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents found that Ramos was carrying more than 1,000 grams of cocaine into Logan in what State Police described as a diaper-like garment beneath her clothing. She was held on $250,000 cash bail and ordered to return to court on April 21.
“We are aware that people like Miss Morla-Ramos are perfect targets for drug traffickers,” said her attorney, Rochelle Burgos, in court Monday. “She’s a mule. They preyed on her and she acted. She was afraid and she acted.
Ramos was arrested shortly after she arrived at Logan from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
Ramos from arrived in Boston on JetBlue flight 893. While being questioned at a Customs and Border Protection checkpoint, Ramos provided conflicting answers about her travel, prompting officers to conduct a pat down search.
The pat down revealed a powdery substance concealed in the diaper-like garment Ramos was wearing under her outer clothing.
A field test of the substance was positive for cocaine. The total weight of the substance was slightly more than 1,000 grams with a street value of almost $100,000.
Customs and Border Protection officers placed Ramos into custody. Members of a joint State Police-federal task force that interdicts drug trafficking at the airport then interviewed the suspect.
After being interviewed and processed at Customs and Border Protection, Ramos was transported to the State Police Barracks at Logan, where she was booked. She was transported to the State Police Barracks in Revere, where she was held on $100,000 cash bail prior to her arraignment.
Burgos said her client claims that she owed a man named Herman money in the Dominican Republic. The man promised her money in return for her transporting drugs to Boston.
Police reports further indicate that the man asked her to try swallowing the drugs, but changed plans to the diaper when that didn’t work.