Oakland Airport Baggage Handlers Accused Of Participating In Marijuana Smuggling Ring

Federal officials say they’ve uncovered an alleged marijuana smuggling ring that involved three baggage handlers working at Oakland International Airport. Because airport workers can go behind the scenes where others can’t, investigators say the baggage handlers used their security badges to access off-limits areas and get pot from one point to another.

According to a criminal complaint, the workers were part of a group of people charged in an alleged conspiracy to ferry marijuana around the country, reports CBS San Francisco, dating back to July 2012.

Officials allege that the baggage handlers would carry luggage containing marijuana to bypass screening areas, bringing the cargo directly to the terminals where they’d then hand off the bags to passengers who’d already been screened and were ready to board their flights.

Some of the exchanges happened in the men’s restroom, after suspects would allegedly alert each other to which specific stall to meet and make the handoff. The accused co-conspirators would then fly off to various destinations around the country to distribute the drugs.

The defendants were charged with conspiracy to distribute, and possess with intent to distribute, 100 kilograms or more of marijuana.

Oakland Airport Baggage Handlers Among 14 Charged In Marijuana Smuggling Conspiracy [CBS San Francisco]

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