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N. Belle Vernon woman faces drug hearing

| Friday, Jan. 25, 2013, 12:47 a.m.

A North Belle Vernon woman remained in federal custody in California on Thursday after she and a travel companion were accused of smuggling drugs across the Mexico border inside her body.

Samantha Kurdilla, 22, of 1043 Broad Ave. is being held in lieu of $30,000 bond at the federal Metropolitan Correctional Center in San Diego.

She is a 2008 Belle Vernon Area High School graduate.

Kurdilla was charged with unlawful importation of a controlled substance after a narcotics-detection dog led border inspectors to discover she allegedly hid a condom filled with 100 grams of cocaine inside her vaginal cavity on Jan. 15.

Kurdilla told officials at the port of entry in San Ysidro, Calif., that she was partying in Tijuana, Mexico, with James Perry before stating the drugs belonged to Perry, according to court documents.

Her preliminary hearing is set Feb. 5 before Judge Barbara L. Major, federal magistrate judge for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California.

Perry, no age or residence available, later admitted he purchased the drugs in Mexico and convinced Kurdilla to conceal them inside herself.

Perry is charged with unlawful importation of a controlled substance and is being detained without bail because of a government motion that labeled him as a flight risk, according to Debra Hartman, spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney's Office.

His preliminary hearing is scheduled Jan. 31.

Hartman said she could not provide any other details outside the public charging documents.

Email and phone messages left Thursday with Perry's court-appointed attorney, Gregory T. Murphy, were not returned Thursday.

A spokeswoman for the port of entry in San Ysidro said she could not provide any other information and referred questions to Hartman.

Searches of court records on the government's Public Access to Court Electronic Records site Thursday evening showed no other new information.

Rick Bruni Jr. is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at rbruni@tribweb.com or 724-684-2635.

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