Fort Worth Workers Busted by Feds in 'Meth Trafficking' Sting

Marco Green
May 17, 2018

The suspects showed "ability and willingness to smuggle plastic explosives onto airplanes", and even asserted fees as high as $5,500 to transport explosives. Eight of the accused worked for Envoy, an American Airlines subsidiary that operates American Eagle. One was named as a Spirit Airlines employee and another as a former Spirit employee.

A tenth suspect had not been arrested as of Tuesday. "Individuals who are trusted with insider knowledge of our commercial airport system that they will go to just obtain cash", U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox said. They were moving what they believed to be meth through the airport, charging undercover agents they believed to be drug smugglers between $1,500 and $2,000 per kilogram, according to federal authorities. The suspects arranged to ship the counterfeit drugs through DFW Airport and onto commercial airline flights, the release stated.

The employees agreed to ship meth to cities across the USA for as much as $1,500-2,000 per kilogram, the indictment said.

Beginning in 2016, the group used their positions at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport to bypass security and place a substance that they believed was meth on flights, authorities said. (66 kilograms) of counterfeit drugs transported to various domestic destinations including Arizona, New Jersey and North Carolina. "The defendants would also act as "look-outs" or engage in counter-surveillance to undermine police presence".

Eventually, aided by an Federal Bureau of Investigation agent, the four employees - Molitoni Katoa, Janelle Isaacs, Moniteveti Katoa and Funaki Falahola - helped move kilograms of a substance they believed was cocaine from D/FW to Las Vegas; Newark; Phoenix; Chicago; Wichita, Kansas; and San Francisco, the feds said.

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. The defendants were arrested Monday and will make their initial appearances before a United States magistrate judge later this week.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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