ICE Arrests Airline Employees for Involvement in International Drug Smuggling
Federal agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) arrested 12 individuals today for their role in two drug smuggling operations out of U.S. airports. All of the individuals have been charged with drug trafficking and related charges to include conspiracy, possession with intent to distribute and illegal importation of narcotics.
“Today’s arrests and charges close a major vulnerability at the airport,” said ICE Director John Morton. “We can’t have people working in and around aircraft exploiting their positions for criminal ends. Airplanes are for lawful travel not drug dealing. For those on the inside thinking about abusing their access to planes for money, think again. We are watching. We are looking. Whether it takes months or years, whether the trail leads to Detroit, Houston, or Montego Bay, we will investigate you, we will prosecute you, we will put you in jail.”
The investigation called, “Operation Excess Baggage,” began in January 2010 when HSI special agents from the ICE’s attaché office in Kingston, Jamaica, contacted Detroit-based HSI special agents to alert them of a seizure by Jamaican Customs of approximately