Authorities find cocaine in motorized wheelchair’s seat at Charlotte Douglas; man arrested

CHARLOTTE — A man has been arrested for trying to traffic cocaine through the Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Homeland Security investigators told anchor Allison Latos.

Authorities said Alexander Antonio Lopez-Morel was traveling from the Dominican Republic to Newark, New Jersey when he stopped for a layover in Charlotte this week. Federal agents said that when he landed, they moved in.

According to Homeland Security officials, 11 kilograms of cocaine were found hidden in the seat of a motorized wheelchair. Federal agents said Lopez-Morel faked a disability trying to smuggle the drugs in the wheelchair.

“His answers didn’t match up. His physical purported handicap did not match up. That was a tell-tale sign that there was something suspicious,” said Mike Prado, HSI deputy special agent.

The cocaine was worth between $330,000 to $350,000 so there was no doubt the drug dealers hoping to sell it in the United States will feel that loss.

Drug trafficking through Charlotte Douglas is such a concern that Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection and local police launched a new border enforcement security task force in March.

“Really taking the fight to the cartels and organizations profiting from putting this poison on the streets,” Prado said.

Federal agents hope confiscating their drugs and money hits them had.

“That’s unbelievable. That’s crazy,” passenger Richard Killian said. “What I am really upset and concerned about are our young people being bombarded with drugs.”

Investigators said the airport is a target for drug dealers because of Charlotte’s size and location on the East Coast, but the authorities believe they’re making a dent. Since 2021, they have seized $5.7 million and a lot of fentanyl, cocaine, meth and marijuana.

(WATCH BELOW: 9 Investigates: Criminals sneaking millions of dollars through Charlotte Douglas)