News

USA: Southwest baggage handler guilty of drug smuggling.

A former Southwest Airlines baggage handler pleaded guilty in federal court in Oakland Wednesday to two charges in a scheme to smuggle large amounts of marijuana through Oakland International Airport. Michael Videau, 29, of Oakland, pleaded guilty before Chief U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton to one count of distributing marijuana and one count of entering an airport in violation of security rules for the purpose of drug trafficking.He will be sentenced by Hamilton on Nov. 9 and faces a maximum possible penalty of 15 years in prison. He is currently free on a $150,000 bond.

Videau was one of 13 people indicted by a federal grand jury in Oakland on May 28, 2015, on charges of participating in a nationwide conspiracy to smuggle the drug through the Oakland airport to locations in at least 10 other states in 2013 and 2014. The other defendants included two other baggage handlers, six couriers who allegedly carried suitcases of marijuana onto planes, and four other people who aided with packaging and selling the drug.

The indictment alleged the conspirators obtained the marijuana in Northern California and placed it in sealed packages in suitcases that the handlers would bring through the employee entrance to the airport, where the bags would not be screened. The baggage handlers would then meet the couriers in the passenger terminal and give them the suitcases to carry onto their planes, according to the indictment.

More information available here: http://patch.com/california/piedmont/former-southwest-airlines-baggage-handler-pleads-guilty-smuggling-scheme

Source: Piedmont Patch.

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