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Saturday, March 6, 2021

46 indicted on US charges related to D/FW Airport drug smuggling

DALLAS (AP) — Dozens of people are facing charges related to smuggling drugs into several U.S. cities on commercial flights from Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, federal prosecutors said Wednesday.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Dallas released a statement saying most of the 46 defendants are from northern Texas and would appear in court beginning Wednesday. Charges include intent to distribute cocaine and methamphetamines, conspiracy and money laundering.

Undercover agents gave some suspects packages, purporting they contained drugs, that were then carried onto flights for payments of up to $9,000, according to an indictment unsealed Wednesday. Prosecutors said the drugs were flown to Las Vegas, Phoenix, Chicago and San Francisco, as well as Newark, New Jersey, and Wichita, Kansas.

It wasn’t immediately clear how many of the defendants were in custody Wednesday. The U.S. attorney’s office declined comment beyond its press release.

Airport spokeswoman Cynthia Vega said airport officials were aware of the FBI sting investigation, and that none of the indicted individuals works for the airport, which has about 1,800 employees. She said only two of those indicted work for companies that operate out of the airport, where about 63,000 people work daily.

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