Federal Aviation Administration police arrested a man at National Airport after seizing more than two pounds of suspected cocaine that would have a street value exceeding $500,000, law enforcement officials said yesterday.
A man identifying himself as Charles Rebozo, 37, was taken into custody Friday aboard an Air Florida flight arriving in Washington from Miami, law enforcement officials said. A full kilogram (2.2 pounds) of a substance identified in a field test at the airport as cocaine was discovered aboard the plane in one of his flight bags, officials said.
"It's a large amount for an individual to be carrying around," said Drug Enforcement Administration spokesman Robert Feldkamp. It is believed to be the largest seizure of cocaine made in the area since January 1979, when two New York City women were arrested at Dulles International Airport while allegedly attempting to smuggle two kilograms of cocaine under their dresses.
Because of overcrowding at Alexandria's detention facility, Rebozo was being held at the Fairfax County jail. He is scheduled to appear this morning before a U.S. magistrate in Alexandria for arraignment on charges of illegally transporting a controlled substance across state lines, law enforcement officials said.
Police at Fairfax jail said Rebozo gave an address in Miami, Fla., while FAA officials said they also had an address for him in Forestville, Calif. f
The cocaine was discovered accidentally after the Air Florida plane landed at National Airport and Rebozo, for undisclosed reasons, passed out in his seat, officials said. The airline summoned paramedics, who attempted to treat Rebozo on the plane.
While trying to revive Rebozo, officials said, the paramedics searched his hand luggage looking for medication that he may have had. They opened one flight bag and instead found plastic bags filled with the substance later identified as cocaine, officials said.
The paramedics notified airport police, who took Rebozo to the National Orthopaedic and Rehabilition Hospital in Arlington, where he was treated and later released to police.