CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — Officials found 23 pounds of cocaine hidden in the seat cushion of an arriving passenger’s electric wheelchair at Charlotte Douglas International Airport Tuesday, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Officials said 22-year-old Alexander Lopez-Morel, a lawful permanent resident of the U.S., arrived in Charlotte from a flight from the Dominican Republic when he was met by CBP officers.
The officers said Lopez-Morel was using an electric wheelchair to conceal packages of a white powdery substance.
After further inspection, officers found packages within the seat cushion holding a substance that field-tested positive for cocaine.
Four packages containing over 23 pounds of cocaine were discovered inside the wheelchair. The drugs had an estimated street value of $378,000, CBP said.
Lopez-Morel was placed under arrest and charged with felony trafficking in cocaine.
The cocaine and wheelchair were turned over to Homeland Security Investigations special agents, Queen City’s Border Enforcement Security Team and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.