Undercover FBI operation busts 10 airline employees in alleged drug smuggling ring

  • Undercover FBI operation busts 10 airline employees in alleged drug smuggling ring

Undercover FBI operation busts 10 airline employees in alleged drug smuggling ring

The suspects used their positions of employment with companies at DFW Airport to bypass security measures and in return, they accepted payment for the transportation and delivery of the counterfeit drugs, according to the release.

Charlotte was one of at least three US airports listed as a destination for the funneling of 66 kilos of fake methamphetamine out of Texas, according to a release from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Ten airline employees at a Texas airport have been indicted for their role in allegedly trafficking almost 150 pounds of what the defendants believed was methamphetamine.

"The undercover officers represented to these defendants that they had methamphetamine that needed to be shipped to other parts of our country".

"This [case] is about greed and people who abuse their positions of trust", Cox said.

"This case shows the lengths that these individuals would go to - individuals who are trusted with insider knowledge of our commercial airport system - to just obtain cash", Cox said.

The airlines involved say they are cooperating with federal investigators. Seven of those arrested are employees for Envoy, a subsidiary of American Airlines.

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

The 10 were charged Monday on a count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a Schedule II controlled substance, reports theDallas Morning News.

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 defendants worked for Envoy Air, which is a regional carrier owned by American Airlines, and for Spirit Airlines.

D/FW Airport police Chief Charles Cinquemani said the arrests were proof of a strong partnership between airport police and federal law enforcement.

The FBI said a federal grand jury returned an indictment charging ten people for their alleged role in the smuggling operation. Officials say the individuals managed to help transport 66 kilograms of the counterfeit narcotics. During the course of the investigation, one of the suspects allegedly discussed being able to transport guns and C-4 through commercial airlines.

A Spirit spokesman quoted by Dallas News said the airline "has been advised of this matter and will cooperate fully with law enforcement".

All four defendants pleaded guilty to federal drug charges and received sentences of between six and 20 years in prison.