Drug-Sniffing Dog Alerts to 45K in Cash at Charlotte Airport

Earlier this year, law enforcement discovered $45,000 in cash that a traveler was carrying at Charlotte Douglas International Airport. Federal agents claim that one of their drug-sniffing dogs picked up on the scent in a checked bag at the airport. The passenger was traveling to Los Angeles, and federal agents believe the money was intended for illicit purposes, specifically drug trafficking. The 45,000 in cash was found in a canvas bag, a black hoodie, and another black back. The federal government attempted to have the money forfeited through civil forfeiture. An airport security officer stated that drug trafficking is not unusual at the Charlotte airport.

Drug Trafficking Charges at the Airport

Distribution and possession of illegal drugs are considered crimes under federal and North Carolina law. Additionally, possession of drug paraphernalia can also be charged if legal drugs or paraphernalia are discovered on a person at the airport. You can face serious legal charges if caught with drugs or large sums of money at the airport. Usually, you will be arrested and detained. A federal prosecutor or a state prosecutor may bring criminal charges against you.

In many cases, drug charges related to traveling between states are handled by federal prosecutors. As in the case above, federal agents may try to seize any large sums of money they find using civil forfeiture laws. In many of these cases, law enforcement officers abuse suspects' rights. It is not against the law to travel with large sums of money. If you are being charged with a drug-related crime after being searched at the airport, it is crucial that you discuss your case with an attorney as soon as possible.

Other Criminal Charges Arising From the Charlotte Airport

Traveling with large amounts of cash is not the only activity that could result in a person facing criminal charges. TSA and North Carolina police officers make hundreds of yearly arrests at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport. In the last 20 years, security has increased exponentially. While many individuals arrested at the airport are dangerous, innocent people get arrested and face criminal charges for crimes they never committed.

Bringing a Weapon to the Airport

One of the most common criminal charges for people in airports is bringing a gun to the airport. Maybe you forgot to take your firearm from your carry-on luggage and accidentally took it through airport security. Perhaps you were concealed carrying on your person, and the TSA agents who discovered your gun. Innocent situations can lead to charges for criminal possession of a firearm at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

Residents in North Carolina have the right to own a firearm and openly carry guns in certain situations. Most people can purchase firearms unless they are convicted of felony charges. However, there are certain restrictions about where you can bring a firearm.

Under North Carolina law, no other than authorized law enforcement can carry or possess a firearm at the airport. Those caught with a gun will usually face class 1 misdemeanor charges. Those with a prior criminal record can face harsher penalties.

It is also essential to understand that all firearms and firearm parts must be transported in a law container in a person's checked luggage, not in carry-on luggage. Clips, firing pins, and magazines must be in a locked container and properly transported. If you have been charged with bringing a weapon to the airport, it is crucial that you hire an attorney as soon as possible.

DWI Charges at the Airport

Not all criminal charges arise inside the airport. A person may be charged with a DWI for driving while impaired around the airport. Perhaps someone is swerving erratically in the traffic Lanes surrounding the airport. A law enforcement officer may notice this behavior and tell the driver to stop.

If the law enforcement officer has probable cause to arrest the individual, they may do so. People picking up or dropping off loved ones can also face charges for traffic violations, including speeding and reckless driving. Driving around the airport is highly stressful, and sometimes, drivers will face charges for road rage.

Discuss Your Case With a Skilled Attorney

If you have been charged with a crime after traveling at the Charlotte airport, the attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, are here to help. Do not hesitate to contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC, to schedule a free case evaluation and learn more about how we can fight for you.