A federal grand jury indicted 12 current and former airport employees on charges they planned to distribute cocaine, authorities in Puerto Rico said.
The 12 suspects, including six current and former TSA agents, helped smuggle approximately 20 tons of cocaine through Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in Carolina, Puerto Rico, between 1998 and 2016.
The suspects smuggled suitcases, each containing at least 8 to 15 kilograms of cocaine, through the TSA security system at the airport. As many as five mules were used on each flight, with each mule checking-in up to two suitcases.
“This investigation was initiated by TSA as part of its efforts to address employee misconduct and specific insider threat vulnerabilities,” José Baquero, federal security director for Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands, said in a news release. “TSA has zero tolerance for employees engaged in criminal activity to facilitate contraband smuggling.”