Airline employees caught smuggling drugs in unchecked luggage - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Airline employees caught smuggling drugs in unchecked luggage

DETROIT (WXYZ/CNN) - Airline employees have been busted by the federal agents for smuggling drugs across the country by using luggage sent through baggage checks.

Twelve people were arrested, including 10 current or former airport workers.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement said they flew drugs from Jamaica and Houston to Detroit in checked bags.

"Whether it takes months or years, wherever the trail leads, we will investigate you, we will prosecute you, we will bring you to justice," Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer Brian Moskowitz said.

Drugs would be flown to Detroit via Delta or Northwest flights using what appeared to be legitimately checked luggage.

Once in Detroit, the ring members intercepted the luggage, circumvent normal delivery and sneak the luggage out of the airport.

After all the luggage was examined on the flight five more suitcases containing a total of 16 kilograms of cocaine and 129 kilograms of marijuana were discovered.

The penalties for those arrested ranged from five-years to life behind bars and fines ranging from 250,000 to 10-million dollars.

Copyright 2011 WXYZ/CNN. All rights reserved.

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