Drug agents seize two kilos of cocaine in Fairbanks

Posted: Tuesday, January 15, 2002

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Drug enforcement agents confiscated 2 kilograms of cocaine from a Los Angeles man at the Fairbanks International Airport early Saturday morning.

Cornelius Tica, 22, was arrested at 12:30 a.m. after statewide drug enforcement agents found the approximately 4.4 pounds of cocaine in his luggage, according Alaska State Troopers Sgt. J.R. Roberts.

Roberts said Tica consented to having his luggage searched. He was approached near the baggage claim in front of other passengers trying to retrieve luggage. Investigators found the cocaine inside Tica's luggage in vacuum-sealed wrapping, Roberts said.

Roberts said local agents and airport police were working with the federal Drug Enforcement Agency in Anchorage. The DEA passed along information that Tica could be bringing in the drugs on a nonstop flight from Seattle.

U.S. District Attorney Steve Cooper said Tica was arraigned Monday on a federal charge of possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute and was being held without bail at Fairbanks Correctional Center.

''I think it's going to become an Anchorage case,'' Cooper said. ''That's where the investigation is centering.''

The arrest came four months after another man was found with one kilogram of cocaine after arriving at the airport.

Torrance Earl, 22, was arrested after he chucked a backpack containing the cocaine out a taxi window while trying to avoid officers who were trying to question him at the airport Oct. 13.

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