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Federal indictment accuses 11 of smuggling drugs in US airports

Four baggage handlers and seven others are facing serious criminal charges this month after federal investigators accused them of smuggling cocaine and methamphetamine in and out of airports across the United States. As some of our readers can imagine, the charges against them are fairly steep including drug possession and possession with intent to distribute.

According to federal investigators, the baggage handlers allegedly worked in tandem with seven drug couriers. Investigators believe that the baggage handlers would use their security clearance to place drug-filled bags onto planes, which would then be picked up by the drug couriers at predetermined airports. In total, 11 people have been indicted for their involvement in this alleged setup.

It’s important to point out though that prosecutors will not only need to prove that such an exchange took place but must present evidence that proves how each person was involved. While this could be done through plea deals, many of our readers know that plea deals can sometimes be unreliable and can actually lead to wrongful convictions. This should not only be a concern for defendants but for prosecutors as well.

As many of our Livermore readers already know, charges of possession and intent to distribute should not be taken lightly and a skilled lawyer, who understands the penalties that these charges carry, is usually needed for a good defense. This is something those accused in this case may contemplate, especially considering the fact that each defendant could be looking at a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison if convicted.

Source: The Los Angeles Times, “Four San Diego baggage handlers indicted on drug charges,” Tony Perry, Mar. 17, 2014

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