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Washington’s Top News Interviews George Calhoun on Ifrah Law’s Suit Against U.S. Customs and Border Protection

WTOP | Washington’s Top News spoke with George Calhoun about Ifrah Law’s client Ike Owunna and his case against U.S. Customs and Border Protection for being wrongfully detained at Dulles International Airport and accused of smuggling drugs into the United States. Mr. Owunna is a U.S. citizen who was flying back to his home in Maryland after attending his father’s memorial service in Nigeria when CBP suspected him as a potential drug smuggler.

One of the reasons the CBP suspected Mr. Owunna was that he had malaria medication with him; drug smugglers have been known to use this medication to calm their nerves when they smuggle contraband into the country. Mr. Calhoun noted, “So on one hand, you’ve got the government telling Americans, hey if you go here, take malaria medication — and we’ve got the Customs and Border Patrol saying if you take malaria medication, you might be a drug smuggler.”

Once detained and searched, Owunna was taken to Reston Hospital where he was subjected to invasive searches and an x-ray of his abdomen. Ifrah Law attorneys maintain this was a warrantless search. “That’s what our law, our Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, requires the government to do when it wants to conduct an invasive search,” Mr. Calhoun said. “It’s not difficult. The government does this every single day, and if they really thought he was a drug smuggler based on the amount of luggage he had or the fact that he had malaria medication like the government said he should have, they should have taken it to a judge for a warrant. It’s not hard.”

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