Airline employee arrested for alleged drug smuggling
MIAMI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (WSVN) -- An American Airlines employee accused of trying to smuggle in drugs to the U.S. was quickly arrested upon landing at a South Florida airport.
The employee was arrested at Miami International Airport on Tuesday, after federal investigators said he tried to smuggle in 10 kilograms of cocaine.
The drugs have an estimated street value of $500,000.
Sources close to the investigation said the arrest occurred on a flight arriving to MIA from Peru.
According to American Airlines, the arrest did not happen during working hours.
Passengers are stunned by the allegations. "I'm pretty surprised because this airport is always safe and to hear something like that is unexpected," said a passenger.
There have been many stories in the past about ramp workers allegedly smuggling drugs. Just last month, the Justice Department charged 45 people, including numerous current and former American Airlines employees associated with two Puerto Rico-based drug trafficking organizations.
In the most recent incident, sources close to 7News said the employee involved was traveling with his wife when he was taken into custody.
Federal officials handling the case are being extremely tight-lipped and state that more information will be available later on in the week.
Security at MIA is the first U.S. airport to screen all airline employees going from public to restricted areas.
American Airlines did not want to comment.
(Copyright 2012 by Sunbeam Television Corp. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)