(RNN) - Getting off the plane on Colombia's Caribbean island of San Andrés, three nuns looked nervous and the fabric of their habits didn't look right, so an airport cop decided to take a closer look.
According to police, they found packages of cocaine taped to a leg of each woman, who were not really nuns.
El Periodico reported that the women, ages 20, 32, and 37, had a total of about four pounds of cocaine, with an estimated value of about $35,000.
It is not uncommon for young women to act as "drug mules," and may of them do so out of economic desperation, which is often a reason they are willing to risk prison time or death.
"There are so many cases, and they are all different," said Orlando Tobon, a New York City-based Colombian who claims unclaimed bodies of people who died during the process of trafficking drugs into the U.S.
"Most of the people who bring drugs are good people," he said. "They have to be good people ... They have to be educated, decent looking people so they don't look suspicious."
The three woman were arrested and have been charged with several crimes related to narcotrafficking and could face between six and 20 years in prison.
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