Sunday, 27 May, 2018

10 airline employees busted in Dallas-Fort Worth Airport drug trafficking sting

Ten American Airlines workers have been charged with smuggling drugs out of Dallas Fort Worth Airport on eight different commercial flights Authorities bust drug smuggling ring, operation flew into CLT airport
Melinda Barton | 17 May, 2018, 03:52

Officials say the individuals managed to help transport 66 kilograms of the counterfeit narcotics.

Authorities say the scheme began in 2016.

An airline spokesman told DailyMail.com on Tuesday afternoon: 'At American and Envoy Air, we have an unwavering commitment to the safety and security of our customers and team members.

The suspects showed "ability and willingness to smuggle plastic explosives onto airplanes", and even asserted fees as high as $5,500 to transport explosives.

Authorities allege that two defendants met with an undercover officer in 2016 and obtained a substance they believed was methamphetamine.

With DFW serving as home base, contraband was flown six times to New Jersey, one trip to Phoenix, and on August 3, 2017, six kilograms were flown into Charlotte Douglas airport.

The indictments were handed down on charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance. "Smugglers are constantly seeking new ways to move illegal contraband across the country and we will do whatever necessary to thwart these criminals at every turn".

Over the course of an nearly two-year investigation, the employees, seven of whom worked for American Airlines subsidiary Envoy, allegedly shipped 66 pounds of fake meth from D/FW to airports in Charlotte, North Carolina; Phoenix; and Newark, New Jersey. "We at the Federal Bureau of Investigation will continue to work diligently with our partners to ensure we aggressively investigate anyone who poses a threat to or attempts to compromise any aspect of USA aviation security".

At least one defendant had said he would transport firearms on commercial flights.

"He and his co-conspirators could smuggle anything onto planes, including guns", said Cox. In 2015, the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested four D/FW workers after they promised they could get cocaine from the airport to other destinations around the country. The employees were arrested Monday.

'We take this matter very seriously and are cooperating with law enforcement during their investigation'.

The defendants named in the indictment include Nelson Pabon, 47, Jean Loui Vargas-Malave, 28, Juan Camacho Melendez, 22, Ruben Benitez-Matienzo, 45, Jose Luis Gaston-Rolon, 24, Joshua Israel Pagan Zapata, 21, Domingo Villafane Martinez, III, 30, Luis Javier Collazo Rosado, 21, Michael LNU, 23, and Cristian David Cruz-Rodriguez, 23.