Man Remains Held Without Bond Following Seizure of Nearly $1M Worth of Cocaine From His Wheelchair at BWI Airport

A man remains held without bond at the county detention center after authorities at BWI Airport allegedly found nearly $1M worth of cocaine inside his wheelchair.

According to a news release issued by the U.S. Custom and Border Protection Office in Baltimore, Gabriel Ruiz, 34, of Union City, N.J., was taken into custody on state felony narcotics importation and possession charges on June 21, 2022.  "After Ruiz arrived to BWI from Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, officers x-rayed his electric wheelchair and detected anomalies within the seat and back cushions," the press release said.  "Officers probed the cushions and extracted 13 plastic-wrapped bricks that contained a white powdery substance."

Field test equipment was reportedly used to determine powdery substance as cocaine. 

Officials said the 13 cocaine bricks weighed more than 30 pounds and had an estimated street value of nearly $1 million.

Court records show an Annapolis District Court Judge denied Ruiz' request for bail during a proceeding on June 22.  A preliminary hearing in the case has been scheduled for July 20.