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Nearly $1 million of coke found in wheelchair at US airport

(BALTIMORE) – Gabriel Ruiz, 34, was arrested for attempting to smuggle bricks of cocaine in the seat of his electric wheelchair through BWI airport in Baltimore, Maryland.

According to U.S Customs and Border Protection, Ruiz had hidden 30 pounds of cocaine within the wheelchair cushioning on June 20th, as Ruiz traveled to Baltimore from the Dominican Republic.

A routine X-Ray check showed 13 plastic-wrapped coke bricks in the back cushions of the wheelchair.

U.S Customs and Border Protection estimates that the amount of cocaine seized is worth nearly a million dollars.

“Concealing dangerous drugs inside wheelchair seat cushions is unusual,” said Thomas Heffernan, acting area port director for Customs and Border Protection’s Area Port of Baltimore.

“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.”

Ruiz currently faces multiple charges of drug possession and narcotics importation.

Staff Writer, Julianna Caban, contributed to the story.