Thursday, 20 June, 2019

Texas airport workers used flights to distribute meth to NC

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
Deanna Wagner | 17 May, 2018, 03:54

No actual drugs, firearms or explosives were smuggled onto flights as part of the investigation, authorities confirmed.

The alleged scheme had been in place since at least August 2016.

The first shipment occurred on September 30, 2016, when eight kilograms were sent to a Newark, New Jersey airport on American Airlines Flight 0952.

Ten employees for companies working in Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport were indicted for allegedly attempting to smuggle methamphetamine drugs through the airport, US attorneys announced Tuesday.

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.

Between September 2016 and February 2018, the men shipped a total of 66kg on eight different flights.

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Ten airport workers in Dallas who thought they were making easy money by placing crystal methamphetamine on flights to Newark and other destinations have been arrested in a federal drug sting.

The airlines involved say they are cooperating with federal investigators.

"He and his co-conspirators could smuggle anything onto planes, including guns", said Cox.

Tuesday's bust marks the second time in three years that DFW airport employees have been arrested for allegedly transporting fake drugs out of the airport.

"At American and Envoy Air, we have an unwavering commitment to the safety and security of our customers and team members", American Airlines told media outlets in a statement.

Erin Nealy Cox, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas, said during Tuesday's press conference that the defendants worked for airlines at DFW airport but were not employed by the airport. The defendants were arrested Monday and will make their initial appearances before a United States magistrate judge later this week. The Dallas Police Department, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation and the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport Police Department assisted the FBI with the investigation. "Working together with federal and local law enforcement partners, we continue to prioritize efforts to help mitigate the insider threat to aviation security".