Monday, 21 January, 2019

Authorities bust drug smuggling ring, operation flew into CLT airport

10 airline employees busted in Dallas Fort Worth Airport drug trafficking sting 10 airline employees busted in Dallas Fort Worth Airport drug trafficking stingSHARE:sharetweetshareemail AP
Steven Clarke | 17 May, 2018, 03:52

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport in Grapevine, Texas.

"The defendants facilitated the transport of 66 kilograms of what they believed to be methamphetamine", Nealy Cox said.

The drugs were sent on planes to North Carolina, New Jersey and Arizona where they were picked up by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents at the other end of the route.

Prosecutors announced Tuesday that the 10 were arrested a day earlier and each indicted on a count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance.

Authorities say starting in 2016, the group used their positions to bypass security and place the meth on flights.

They received half their payment up front and half when the plane touched down in New Jersey or the other destinations.

During the course of the investigation, one of the suspects allegedly discussed being able to transport guns and C-4 through commercial airlines.

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

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"Like many cases that my office prosecutes, this is about greed and people who abuse their positions of trust". Every time they sent a shipment, federal agents were there to pick it up, Cox said.

According to the release, The counterfeit drugs were transported to various locations throughout the US, including Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark, New Jersey, and Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix, Arizona.

Cox said no real meth was provided or transported during the investigation.

Federal indictments have been issued for 10 employees of companies working out of DFW Airport and nine have been arrested and face federal drug distribution charges.

Seven of the workers were employed by Envoy Airlines, a subsidiary of American Airlines.

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

The men charged are; Nelson Pabon, 47, Jean Loui Vargas-Malave, 28, Juan Camacho Melendez, aka "Kendo Kaponi" and 'Anthony, ' 22, Ruben Benitez-Matienzo, 45, Jose Luis Gaston-Rolon, 24, Joshua Israel Pagan Zapata, 21, Domingo Villafane Martinez, III, 30, Luis Javier Collazo Rosado, aka 'Luisito, ' 21, Michael LNU, and Cristian David Cruz-Rodriguez, 23.

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