London teenager accused of cocaine smuggling in US

A British teenager has been arrested in the US on suspicion of attempting to smuggle two suitcases of cocaine into Florida via a flight from Jamaica.

Ayesha Olivia Niles, an 18-year-old student from London, is alleged to have had more than 13kg of the drug stored in 24 boxes of cake mixture, the Miami Herald reported.

The teenager has apparently denied knowledge of the drugs, with her arrest report stating that "she suspected that the activity she was involved in was suspicious but she did not question it".

Ms Niles was 17 when held at Miami International Airport on 21 October, but she turned 18 three days later while in custody at a juvenile detention centre.

Prosecutors have indicated that if she is charged in the coming days with trafficking and the importation of the drug, she would be tried as an adult and therefore could face a heavier sentence – possibly up to 15 years in prison.

"This young woman had her 18th birthday in a foreign jail, far from her home and her family, because she thought she could smuggle almost 30 pounds of cocaine through Miami," Miami-Dade state attorney Katherine Fernández Rundle told the Miami Herald.

"Sadly, she almost becomes a poster child for how easily the drug trade can corrupt our youth."