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Minnesota women accused of smuggling 70 pounds of heroin hidden in tea leaves

CHICAGO -- Three Minnesota women -- two of them from St. Paul -- were arrested at Chicago's O'Hare airport Tuesday on accusations they were smuggling millions of dollars worth of narcotics.Chicago police identified the women as Pa Yang, 57, and M...

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A combination photo shows Pa Yang (left), 57, Mai Vue Vang, 58, and True Thao, 52, all of Minnesota, after their arrest at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport with more than $3 million of heroin and opium in their luggage in these photos released Tuesday by the Chicago Police Department. Reuters

CHICAGO - Three Minnesota women - two of them from St. Paul - were arrested at Chicago's O'Hare airport Tuesday on accusations they were smuggling millions of dollars worth of narcotics.
Chicago police identified the women as Pa Yang, 57, and Mai Vue Yang, 58, both of St. Paul; and True Thao, 52, of Brooklyn Center. All three are American citizens returning to the country from Laos via Japan, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency said.
While screening their luggage, customs agents found 470 packets of a “brown powdery substance” hidden in bags of tea leaves. The packets tested positive for opium and heroin, and weighed a total of 31.5 kilograms - nearly 70 pounds, according to customs agents
The drugs had an estimated value of more than $3 million, police said. All three women are in custody in Chicago.

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