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26214: Hermantin(News)Baggage handlers jailed in smuggling probe (fwd)
From: leonie hermantin <email@example.com>
Posted on Fri, Sep. 09, 2005
Baggage handlers jailed in smuggling probe
Federal agents arrested 10 suspects in an alleged Haiti-to-Miami
cocaine-smuggling ring whose members include a trio of baggage handlers at
Miami International Airport, according to sources familiar with the
The illegal drugs were transported in suitcases on American Airlines flights
departing from Port-au-Prince and arriving at MIA, sources said. The baggage
handlers received tips about which luggage contained the cocaine, so they could
unload it to evade authorities.
Some of the defendants arrested Thursday are expected to appear today in
federal court in Fort Lauderdale, the sources said.
The unsealed indictment names 11 defendants, including one who is still at
large. The investigation, by the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration and
Immigration and Customs Enforcement, is targeting other suspects.
Officials with the FBI, which is leading the inquiry, declined to comment.
According to sources, the investigation of baggage handlers at MIA is unrelated
to the DEA's three-year investigation of cocaine trafficking and money
laundering in the administration of deposed Haitian President Jean-Bertrand
Aristide, who is in exile in South Africa.
That investigation has led to conspiracy charges against at least 14
defendants. Most have pleaded guilty.