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Baggage Handlers Arrested in Drug Smuggling Bust at Detroit Airport
Apr 28, 2011 – 3:22 PM
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Mara Gay Contributor
Federal agents arrested 12 people today who are suspected of smuggling marijuana and cocaine into Detroit Metro Airport.

Ten of the twelve people arrested in the yearlong investigation are current or former employees of Delta Air Lines, U.S. Immigrations Customs and Enforcements spokesman Khaalid Walls told AOL News.

The Detroit News reports that the Delta employees are baggage handlers from the Detroit area and are accused of smuggling drugs from Jamaica into Detroit while working at the airport. The other two people arrested are from Texas and California, ICE officials said in a statement today.

The case began in January, 2010, when Jamaican Customs found 53 pounds of marijuana in a piece of luggage bound for Detroit under the name of a passenger, who authorities say was not involved in the alleged smuggling operation.

When the plane landed in Detroit, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents seized another five suspicious suitcases and found almost 15 kilograms of cocaine and 130 kilograms of marijuana, according to an unsealed affidavit.

Charges against the defendants include drug trafficking, conspiracy, possession with intent to distribute and illegal importation of narcotics. They are expected to appear in U.S. District Court in Detroit for an initial hearing today. ICE officials declined further comment but said they will hold a press conference at 3:30 p.m. EST.

In a statement to AOL News, Delta Airlines said it is cooperating with federal authorities. "Delta does not tolerate employees found using their position for illegal activity and these employees have been suspended without pay," the statement read. "Additional disciplinary action could be taken pending the final outcome of the investigation."

Filed under: Nation
Tagged: baggage handlers​, cocaine​, delta air lines, detroit, detroit metro airport, drug smugglers​, drug smuggling​, marijuana
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