Airport authorities find cocaine stashed in wheelchair… again

Officers found 13 plastic-wrapped bricks that contained a white powdery substance inside the...
Officers found 13 plastic-wrapped bricks that contained a white powdery substance inside the seat and back cushions of the chair.(U.S. Custom and Border Protection)
Published: Jun. 29, 2022 at 7:27 AM PDT
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BALTIMORE (Gray News) – A man from New Jersey is accused of trying to move cocaine through the Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshal Airport by stashing the drugs in an electric wheelchair.

According to U.S. Custom and Border Protection, officers found 13 plastic-wrapped bricks that contained a white powdery substance inside the seat and back cushions of the chair.

Officers used field test kits and confirmed the substance was over 30 pounds of cocaine.

Gabriel Ruiz, who was returning from the Dominican Republic, was charged with felony narcotic importation and possession.

Ruiz is the second person accused of trying to stash cocaine in a wheelchair over the past several weeks.

Officers in Charlotte, North Carolina also discovered 23 pounds of cocaine hidden inside a wheelchair on May 31.

Both the Baltimore and Charlotte travelers had arrived from the Dominican Republic.

“Concealing dangerous drugs inside wheelchair seat cushions is unusual,” Thomas Heffernan, acting area port director for CBP’s area port of Baltimore, said. “Transnational criminal organizations work very hard to conceal their illicit drugs, but this cocaine seizure proves once again that Customs and Border Protection officers are up to the task of protecting our communities by finding the drug gangs’ creatively concealed contraband.”

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