- Associated Press - Thursday, July 9, 2015

BOSTON (AP) - A woman from the Dominican Republic has been indicted on federal charges in connection with alleged smuggling of cocaine hidden in wheelchair batteries.

Ireline Aponte Melende was indicted Thursday in U.S. District Court in Boston on charges of unlawful importation of a controlled substance.

Authorities say Melende was stopped at Logan International Airport in May after arriving from the Dominican Republic. Federal prosecutors say customs and border protection officials X-rayed her motorized wheelchair and noticed “abnormalities” in the wheelchair batteries.

Authorities say four bricks containing a white powdery substance that were shown to be cocaine were in the batteries.

It was not known Thursday if Melende is represented by a lawyer.

If convicted, she faces a sentence of up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $1 million.


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