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How officials caught a man trying to steal cocaine through DTW using last-minute flights

ROMULUS, mich. – Officials caught a Michigan man who planned some last-minute flights to try to sneak bricks of cocaine into his checked luggage through DTW.

Research on Woodrow Campbell

A Department of Homeland Security special agent said officials were investigating Woodrow Campbell of Saginaw and the possible transportation of drugs.

A criminal complaint filed on June 8, 2024 alleges a flight from Los Angeles to DTW on June 7, 2024. But Campbell also has a history of bringing narcotics on flights, according to the complaint.

Officials said Campbell “ghosted” — or left behind — a checked bag on May 10, 2023, at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Approximately 4.82 kilograms of cocaine was later found in that bag.

Last minute booking

On June 6, Campbell booked a last-minute one-way ticket for the next day. He booked a Delta flight from LAX to DTW and then, after a brief layover, a flight from DTW to Saginaw (MBS).

This booking was made less than 24 hours before the first flight, officials said. Campbell had three checked bags.

Officials said drug traffickers sometimes book last-minute flights to try to avoid officers from arresting them or finding the drugs.

The first two bags have been seized

Officers from the Wayne County Airport Authority’s Airport Special Investigations Unit went to gate A18 on June 7. The incoming flight had two of Campbell’s three bags on board.

Those two checked bags were labeled “Woodrow Campbell,” and when they were offloaded from the plane they were checked by a drug dog.

The drug dog indicated there were drugs in the bags, so officials took the bags to a locked area.

Third bag seized

Campbell’s connecting flight to Saginaw was scheduled to depart at 4:15 p.m. on July 7 and his third bag was scheduled to arrive at DTW from LAX around 2:30 p.m., officials said.

A judge approved a search warrant for all of Campbell’s bags, citing the drug dog’s indication, Campbell’s previous abandoned luggage and the last-minute nature of the flight.

ASIU officials went to gate A29 as the second flight landed, and the same drug dog gave a positive indication for drugs in Campbell’s third checked bag, according to the complaint.

Cocaine found in luggage

When officials searched Campbell’s checked bags, they each had five compressed, rectangular blocks of cocaine, they said.

Each brick was wrapped in oversized men’s clothing that wouldn’t fit Campbell’s frame, authorities said.

A total of 15 kilos of cocaine was seized, the complaint said.

Campbell arrested

Agents caught up with Campbell at the gate as he boarded his flight to Saginaw.

He was arrested without incident, searched and taken to the Wayne County Airport Authority Police Station.

The indictment concludes that there is probable cause that Campbell intentionally possessed cocaine with the intent to distribute it.

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