Federal authorities say 10 people who worked at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport used commercial flights to distribute methamphetamine that was flown to Arizona, New Jersey and elsewhere.
Prosecutors announced Tuesday that the 10 were arrested a day earlier and each indicted on a count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance. Eight of the accused worked for Envoy, an American Airlines subsidiary that operates American Eagle. Two others worked for Spirit Airlines.
Authorities say beginning in 2016 the group used their positions to bypass security and place the meth on flights. They allegedly had 145 lbs. of the drug transported to various domestic destinations.
"The undercover officers represented to these defendants that they had methamphetamine that needed to be shipped to other parts of our country. The defendants negotiated with the undercover officers and charged a specific amount of money per kilogram, anywhere from $1,500 to $2,000 per kilograms," Erin Nealy Cox said.
The top defendant said he would transport firearms on commercial flights but it's not clear if that actually was done.
"We must continue our public private partnership and we must assure that our travel is safe and we prevent individuals such as these subjects from using their access and placement as instruments of compromise," said Eric Jackson, FBI Special Agent.
The bulk of the meth was sent to Newark, New Jersey, while other shipments were flown to Phoenix and Charlotte, North Carolina.
Officials say they decided to move in and arrest the workers when recently they began discussing their willingness, for a higher price, to smuggle powerful explosives.