Authorities have broken up an international heroin smuggling ring that transported drugs through Dulles International airport.
The alleged leader, Edward MacCauley, and members of the ring, based in Ghana, have been charged with using couriers to smuggle heroin from Ghana into the U.S.
Authorities coordinated arrests in Ghana and Maryland. Two Alexandria, Va., residents connected to the ring were already in custody.
Three of the alleged couriers were identified as 35-year-old Theophilus Akwei of Germantown, 54-year-old Joseph Duodo of Greenbelt and 29-year-old Matilda Antwi of Alexandria. According to authorities, couriers were paid $15,000 per flight to smuggle the heroin in specially designed bags.
Eight people total were indicted. The drugs were smuggled through Dulles and distributed in Baltimore and New York.
Authorities say the case highlights the growing drug trafficking problem in West Africa.
Authorities are holding a press conference at 2 p.m. in D.C. to discuss the case.