Who knows what else was in her bags - gifts for grandkids, maybe some knitting materials? - but it was the 6.5 pounds of heroin hidden in Maria Resfa Garzon de Arenas' belongings that caused some red flags at the Fort Lauderdale airport yesterday.
Drug smuggling ain't news in South Florida, but here's what's interesting: Garzon de Arenas is 74 years old. Not exactly the profile you think of a smack smuggler.
The U.S. Attorney's Office in Miami announced that Garzon de Arenas was arrested after a Bogota-to-Fort Lauderdale flight that landed at 3 p.m. June 12. She went through the customs process, and agents found heroin "sewn within the lining of notebook binders, a jewelry case, and in a false cavity of women's slippers."
She'll have a hearing June 18 in front of U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry Seltzer. If the case goes to trial and she's convicted, Garzon de Arenas faces life in prison.
Before we get out our jump-to-conclusions mat, though, let's remember the drug-smuggling world is a dangerous, unforgiving one. Time will tell what other factors may have been at play here, including maybe someone forcing Garzon de Arenas to carry the drugs. Maria Full of Grace, anyone?