Florida man busted with cocaine worth $10K at O’Hare security checkpoint: prosecutors

CHICAGO — A Florida man faces felony narcotics charges after he allegedly tried to take $10,000 worth of cocaine through the security checkpoint at O’Hare International Airport.

Officials said Raymond Hlad, 51, went to the airport to catch a flight around 4:45 p.m. last Wednesday. TSA agents directed him to a body scanner at the checkpoint, which detected an anomaly that prompted a closer examination.

Prosecutors said agents discovered plastic baggies on Hlad containing 80 grams—nearly three ounces—of a “white rock-like substance” they suspected was cocaine.

Raymond Hlad | @fly2hare; Chicago Police Department

During Hlad’s bail hearing, prosecutor Sarah Dale-Schmidt said the cocaine would have a street value of $10,000.

But Hlad’s defense attorney called out the “wildly inconsistent” street values prosecutors provide for narcotics. In a case earlier the same day, the lawyer said, prosecutors offered a cocaine street value that would make the drugs Hlad allegedly had worth just $2,000.

Judge Ankur Srivastava set bail at $10,000 and permitted Hlad to return to his suburban Tampa home to await trial after posting a 10% deposit bond.

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Tim Hecke is CWBChicago's managing partner. He started his career at KMOX, the legendary news radio station in St. Louis. From there, he moved on to work at stations in Minneapolis, Chicago, and New York City. Tim went on to build syndicated radio news and content services that served every one of America's 100 largest radio markets. He became CWBChicago's managing partner in 2019. He can be reached at tim@cwbchicago.com