While so much of security is focused on foreign flights, it seems there’s been an increase in infractions by airline workers looking to exploit their behind-the-scenes access at airports.
Two Bush Intercontinental Airport employees are in federal custody, accused of smuggling heroin at the airport, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Rolin Eli Escober, 50, of Houston, and Elidia Molina, 33, of Humble, are each charged with possessing and conspiring to possess a controlled substance, court records show.
Federal prosecutors said Escober and Molina used their status as employees at Bush to circumvent airport security measures and smuggle more than two kilograms of heroin and 13 kilograms of sham heroin on Oct. 19.
Escober works at Express Jet and Molina is employed by DAL Global Services, investigators said. They are accused of smuggling the drugs in exchange for cash from an undercover Homeland Security Investigations special agent who posed as a narcotics trafficker.
On one occasion, the complaint alleges, they smuggled $100,000 in U.S. currency, 1.2 kilograms of heroin and numerous fraudulent documents.
The suspects were arrested on Oct. 19 after successfully smuggling the real and fake heroin around security and returning it to the waiting undercover agents near the boarding gate.
If convicted, they each face from 10 years to life in prison and a fine of up to $4 million.
The investigation was conducted by Homeland Security, the Houston Police Department’s Narcotics Division, Transportation Security Administrative Office of Law Enforcement and the Houston Airport System.
(c)2012 the Houston Chronicle. Distributed by MCT Information Services.