ROMULUS (WWJ/AP) – Apparently several Delta Airlines baggage handlers were moving more than just luggage. Federal authorities say they’ve arrested 8 former or current airport employees in a drug-smuggling investigation at Detroit Metro Airport.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman Khaalid Walls said the 8 worked for Delta Air Lines and the case involves cocaine and marijuana.
Brian Moskowitz Special Agent in Charge for ICE with Homeland Security Investigations said the baggage handlers used unsuspecting travelers in their scheme to transport illegal drugs.
“They intended to use their special access to circumvent all the systems that were in place to stop this kind of thing,” told reporters, Thursday.
“So, they brazenly put the drugs… allegedly put them in these pieces of luggage. And because they had these special access cards, they were able to take them off of the ramps,” he said.
Investigators said the suspects smuggled drugs from Jamaica, and also from Houston, Texas.
In all, 12 people have been charged.
Delta said the employees have been suspended without pay, and additional disciplinary action could be taken pending the final outcome of the investigation.
In a statement, the carrier said it doesn’t tolerate employees being “found using their position for illegal activity.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.