Former LAX Baggage Handlers Charged With Trafficking Cocaine

Image courtesy of JessicaKRoach

As a wise uncle to a superhero once said, “with great power comes great responsibility.” Unfortunately, some folks succumb to the temptation to use that power for their own profit. According to authorities, two former baggage handlers at Los Angeles International Airport are prime examples of this, after allegedly using their jobs to traffic cocaine across the country.

Two LAX workers were arrested on Monday on cocaine trafficking charges, CBS Los Angeles reports, as a result of an investigation looking into incidents of LAX employee credentials being used to breach airport security.

In an affidavit, a detective with the Los Angeles Airport Police says the two arranged for third-party couriers who used commercial airlines to smuggle “samples” of cocaine from L.A. to customers on the East Coast, a kilogram at a time. One of the suspects was a supervisory baggage handler at the time of the investigation.

Detectives seized a kilogram of cocaine from one of the suspect’s possession in December 2015 as he was delivering it to a courier who had a ticket for a flight to New York, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. The worker admitted in a written statement the next day that “on multiple occasions,” he and the other worker used the man’s supervisory status as an LAX employee to ferry drugs to out-of-state customers with the third-party couriers.

If customers liked the “sample” of cocaine, he said in a written statement, then large shipments would be delivered by driving the drugs across the country. He also admitted to driving the trucks laden with more than 100 kilograms of cocaine in exchange for payment, according to the affidavit.

Both workers are charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine, and are expected to make their first court appearances in federal court Monday.

“These defendants are charged with abusing their privileged access on behalf of drug dealers,” said United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker. “This case is yet another example of employees associated with airports assisting drug traffickers.”

LAX has seen its share of cocaine news lately: just last month, a JetBlue flight attendant was arrested in New York City after abandoning a bag filled with cocaine at an airport security checkpoint and fleeing the premises.

Former LAX Baggage Handlers Accused Of Trafficking Cocaine [CBS Los Angeles]