A technician found nearly 30 pounds of cocaine hidden inside an American Airlines plane during a maintenance check at the airport in Tulsa, Oklahoma, local authorities said Monday.
The seven bricks of cocaine were discovered in the electronics bay near the nose of a Boeing 757 on Sunday night, the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office said. Local television station KOKI reported the discovery.
The American Airlines plane had come from Bogota, Colombia, and landed in Miami, where it was flagged for maintenance, the Sheriff’s Office said.
Miami was “overloaded,” and the plane was routed to Tulsa for the work, a sheriff’s official said.
The technician at the airline’s maintenance base in Tulsa was working on the plane and noticed some of the insulation looked new. He moved the insulation, saw one of the bricks and called the Sheriff’s Office.
According to the airline, authorities were immediately contacted.
The total weight was roughly 26 pounds with an additional 4 pounds of packing material, officials told KOKI. The drugs have a street value of at least $200,000, the Sheriff’s Office said.
American Airlines has launched an investigation, and the Sheriff’s Office has handed the case to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.