Investigators say that around August 2016, the ten people "acquired a substance that they believed to be methamphetamine" and "arranged for the transportation and delivery of the counterfeit drugs" through the Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) International Airport on commercial flights.
One of the defendants told undercover Federal Bureau of Investigation agents that he could smuggle C-4 explosives on board a plane for $5,500 forcing agents to end the sting operation and make arrests, according to court filings.
A smuggling ring which saw fake methamphetamine delivered through Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) to places like New Jersey, Phoenix, and Charlotte Douglas airport has resulted in 10 people being federally charged for their roles in conspiring to traffic contraband. The fake drugs then made their way to cities including Newark, Phoenix, and Charlotte, North Carolina. Eight of the accused worked for Envoy, an American Airlines subsidiary that operates American Eagle.
"The undercover officers represented to these defendants that they had methamphetamine that needed to be shipped to other parts of our country".
Cox said no real meth was provided or transported during the investigation.
Each of the individuals arrested Tuesday is charged with one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a Schedule II controlled substance. One of those indicted was named as a Spirit Airlines employee and another was named as a former Spirit employee.
The suspects showed "ability and willingness to smuggle plastic explosives onto airplanes", and even asserted fees as high as $5,500 to transport explosives.
At least one worker had said he would transport firearms on commercial flights but it's not clear if that actually was done, authorities said. Officials say the individuals managed to help transport 66 kilograms of the counterfeit narcotics.
The defendants named in the indictment include Nelson Pabon, 47, Jean Loui Vargas-Malave, 28, Juan Camacho Melendez, 22, Ruben Benitez-Matienzo, 45, Jose Luis Gaston-Rolon, 24, Joshua Israel Pagan Zapata, 21, Domingo Villafane Martinez, III, 30, Luis Javier Collazo Rosado, 21, Michael LNU, 23, and Cristian David Cruz-Rodriguez, 23. This case shows the lengths that these individuals would go to.