Women arrested in Chicago airport with $3 million in drugs in luggage, police say

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A Cook County judge set a $50,000 bond each on Wednesday for three women who were arrested at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport with more than $3 million of heroin and opium in their luggage.

The three – Pa Yang, 57, Mai Vue Vang, 58, and True Thao, 52, all from Minnesota – had arrived on Tuesday on a flight from Japan, the Chicago Police Department said in a statement.

During a screening of passengers, U. S. Customs and Border Protection agents discovered 70 pounds (32 kg) of heroin and opium in numerous small packets in the women’s luggage, police said.

The women are being represented by the Cook County Public Defender’s office, who told Circuit Court Judge Donald Panarese Jr, they have not been able to question their clients because a translator is needed. Officials did not say what language the interpreter must speak.

The attorney representing the women declined to comment or give his name. Messages left for representatives at the public defender’s office were not immediately returned.

The women each face one felony count of possession with intent to deliver, according to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. The charge is punishable by 15 to 60 years in prison.

They are scheduled to appear in court June 2 and are being held in the Cook County Detention Center in Chicago.

(Reporting by Justin Madden in Chicago and Brendan O’Brien in Milwaukee; Editing by Phil Berlowitz and James Dalgleish)

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