60 pounds of drugs, nearly $76K in cash found in luggage at Charlotte airport

CHARLOTTE — A total of nearly $76,000 in cash, 38 pounds of marijuana, and 22 pounds of edible mushrooms were discovered in two separate cases at Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

It was all found in luggage that came through the airport. Now, federal agents are trying to take full ownership of the cash.

The two cases happened just days apart. One involved a convicted drug trafficker, federal documents show.

Pictures show the magnitude of the seizure. In one photo shared by federal investigators, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department K-9 Cali shows off her successful sniff-outs.

She found 38 pounds of marijuana in vacuum-sealed bags, along with 22 pounds of edible mushrooms. Investigators said all of it was found inside the suitcases of two people traveling from California on June 26, 2023.

Channel 9 isn’t naming either suspect because nobody has been officially charged yet.

A few months later, on Sept. 11, that same K-9 sniffed out cash from the suitcase of one of the same suspects.

Investigators said the suitcase, which was being loaded onto a plane bound for San Jose, California had more than $33,000 of cash inside. It was hidden inside clothes, shoes and a shaving kit.

Prosecutors believe the money could have been tied to drugs.

In court documents, federal investigators said the man smuggling it told them the money was from his sneaker business.

A few days later, on Sept. 20, a convicted drug trafficker was busted at Charlotte’s airport. He was caught with more than $42,000.

The suspect said it came from his “nightclub and rental properties,” but the feds believe all of it involves narcotics trafficking. He wasn’t able to answer what the cash would be used for or show any withdrawals that explained the cash.

There is no publicly available data showing how much money has been seized from travelers at Charlotte Douglas over the past five years. But between 2000 and 2016, the feds seized more than $55 million from that airport.

(WATCH BELOW: Man accused of drunkenly trying to get into secure areas of Charlotte airport)

Hunter Sáenz

Hunter Sáenz, wsoctv.com

Hunter is a reporter for Channel 9.

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