A man has been arrested in Charlotte, North Carolina after he was stopped at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) with more than 23 pounds of cocaine concealed in the seat cushions of a motorized wheelchair, totaling over $387,000.
Authorities say that it appeared the man was not even handicapped, among other things that raised suspicion.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers encountered the traveler as he was arriving at Charlotte Douglas International Airport from the Dominican Republic last week, according to a news release.
“His answers didn’t match up. His purported physical handicap did not match up. That was a tell-tale sign that there was something suspicious,” Mike Prado, a Homeland Security Investigations deputy special agent, told WSOC-TV.
The four packages containing cocaine were discovered within the seat cushions and had an estimated street value of $378,000, according to the news release.
“This seizure demonstrates the dynamic border environment in which CBP officers operate at CLT,” said Barry Chastain, CBP Area Port Director Charlotte, in the news release. “Our officers are determined to adapt and respond to these threats in an effort to stop narcotics reaching our communities.”
The 22-year-old man was charged with trafficking cocaine. Officials say he was a lawful, permanent U.S. resident.