by: Sarah Rosario Updated:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Transportation Security Administration agents said they found more than 20 pounds of marijuana in suitcases at Charlotte Douglass International Airport on Sunday, and said a woman and her son are responsible.
Charlotte Douglas is the sixth busiest airport in the nation, with hundreds of passengers, workers, TSA agents and even police officers with dogs.
Officers said none of that stopped Karen Sullivan and Kory Barley from checking suitcases packed with pot.
"It’s pretty brazen," said passenger John Momeyer.
"I think that's terrible and it's pretty stupid,” said Rosanne Woodham.
Police said Sullivan, 42, and her 25-year-old son hid two dozen pounds of marijuana with an estimated value of nearly $15,000 in their luggage.
Sources said the two were on their way to Bermuda with a connection in Atlanta. Police said once their bags were dropped off at the ticket counter, they were put on a conveyer belt and immediately X-rayed.
Officers said that's where TSA agents found the suspicious packages. That X-ray machine is similar to the one all carry-on bags go through at the security checkpoint.
Police said the two tried to disguise the drugs as black rectangular packages. They were laid at the bottom of their suitcases and hidden inside the luggage liner. Channel 9 was told the packages were then wrapped in a black plastic cover in each suitcase.
"I think it's something that most people wouldn't even try to do and that's probably why they thought they would get away with it," Momeyer said.
Sullivan and Barley are from Davidson County. They're in the Mecklenburg County Jail facing trafficking marijuana charges and possession with the intent to deliver.
Within the past year, Channel 9 counted 11 drug arrests at the airport, but nothing was as big as this bust.
The only other case similar was in 2012 when 50 packets of heroin were found in customs.
Police said most of the drugs found at Charlotte Douglas are from arriving passengers from international flights.
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