10 airline employees busted in Dallas-Fort Worth Airport drug trafficking sting

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The employees were arrested Monday.

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.

Nine arrests had been made as of Tuesday, according to authorities.

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. "Individuals who are trusted with insider knowledge of our commercial airport system that they will go to just obtain cash", U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox said. "Smugglers are constantly seeking new ways to move illegal contraband across the country and we will do whatever necessary to thwart these criminals at every turn".

The employees agreed to ship meth to cities across the US for as much as $1,500-2,000 per kilogram, the indictment said.

Authorities bust drug smuggling ring, operation flew into CLT airport
10 airline employees busted in Dallas-Fort Worth Airport drug trafficking sting

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Northern District of Texas, undercover Federal Bureau of Investigation agents approached the defendants in August 2016 with counterfeit methamphetamine drugs and asked for the substance to be transported through the DFW Airport.

The counterfeit drugs were shipped to various locations in the United States, including Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey, Charlotte Douglas International Airport in North Carolina, and Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix, the release stated. The defendants also acted as "look-outs" or engage in counter-surveillance to undermine police, court documents said. Cox said the men executed shipments of 66 kilograms of the counterfeit meth during a 19-month investigation between August 2016 and February 2018.

Each person was charged with one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a schedule II controlled substance.

Defendants also allegedly offered to smuggle firearms and, for a higher price, one even volunteered to smuggle explosives on flights, according to the indictment unsealed Tuesday.

The arrestees named in the indictment are: Envoy employees Nelson Pabon, Jean Loui Vargas-Malave, Juan Comancho Melendez, Ruben Benito-Matienzo, Joshua Israel Pagan Zapata, Domingo Villafane Martinez III and Luis Javier Collazo Rosado; Spirit employee Jose Luis Gaston-Rolon and former Spirit employee Christian David Cruz.

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