Former US Airways Employee Charged With Drug Trafficking

August 09, 2013

A US Airways employee and a man with alleged ties to a Domincan Republic drug-trafficking operation have been charged with smuggling cocaine into the United States through Philadelphia International Airport.

Federal prosecutors say 25-year-old Jose Rodriguez and 35-year-old Edwin Fernandez, both of Pennsylvania, engaged in a conspiracy to import the cocaine between December 2011 and July 2012, by working with a Santo Domingo-based cocaine-distribution organization.

They were indicted on multiple narcotics charges. Rodriguez was an employee of Tempe-based US Airways and recruited other workers to assist in the smuggling, according to prosecutors.

The indictment says Fernandez was a "close associate" of the leader of the Dominican operation. The Santo Domingo operation employed several airport workers there to ensure bags of cocaine were loaded onto commercial planes headed to Philly, according to prosecutors. 

Rodriguez, Fernandez and other recruited US Airways workers took the baggage off planes in Philadelphia, getting them past Customs and Border Protection officials, according to the indictment.

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