Charlotte among airports used to smuggle fake meth out of Texas

Thursday, 17 May, 2018

Federal authorities say 10 people who worked at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport used commercial flights to distribute methamphetamine.

A group of 10 airline employees were charged on Tuesday for allegedly conspiring to smuggle drugs across the country on commercial airlines. "These individuals were more than willing to use their position of power at the airport to bypass security measures and exploit security vulnerabilities". One had not yet been apprehended.

Seven of those arrested worked for Envoy Air, a regional carrier owned by American Airlines, while two others were employees for Spirit Airlines. The fake drugs then made their way to cities including Newark, Phoenix, and Charlotte, North Carolina.

The suspects showed "ability and willingness to smuggle plastic explosives onto airplanes", and even asserted fees as high as $5,500 to transport explosives. They were moving what they believed to be meth through the airport, charging undercover agents they believed to be drug smugglers between $1,500 and $2,000 per kilogram, according to federal authorities.

The suspects helped transport a total of 66 kilograms of counterfeit drugs, the release said.

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

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 indictments also allege at least one of the defendant's claims that he and his co-conspirators could smuggle anything onto commercial planes, including guns and explosives.

The Indictment, returned last week and unsealed Tuesday, charges 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, with one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a Schedule II controlled substance.

They're expected to appear before a judge later this week, according to the Department of Justice.