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Jul 30,2007
Grandmother suing over airport detainment
by UPI

NEW YORK -- A grandmother falsely detained at New York's John F. Kennedy Airport last year as a suspected drug trafficker now is suing in response.

The New York Post said Sunday that Lissette Mancilla, 56, filed suit July 12 against the U.S. government for airport customs officials' decision to detain her for 21 days on false charges that she possessed heroin.

Mancilla had been traveling on May 9, 2006, to see the birth of her granddaughter when a packet of white powder allegedly was found in an outer pocket of her luggage.

Customs officials at the scene said the powder was heroin, while Mancilla's attorney maintains the identity of the powder has never been made clear to his client.

While Mancilla was released without any charges being filed, she missed her granddaughter's birth and her daughter's graduation.

In addition to suing the government, Mancilla has named the customs agent who identified the powder as a co-defendant in her suit.

The Post said Mancilla is seeking an unspecified amount in damages.

Copyright © 2007, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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