ATLANTA -- Three TSA and Delta Airlines employees at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport have been accused of smuggling cocaine and heroin.
U.S. Attorney David Nahmias said Leslie Adgar, 42, of Decatur, Jon Patton, 44, of Lawrenceville and Andre Mays, 24, of Atlanta, were indicted by a federal grand jury on charges relating to a drug-smuggling operation at the airport.
“These individuals allegedly abused their positions at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport to smuggle drugs past security and onto Delta flights,” Nahmias said. “This indictment should serve as a cautionary tale for others who would betray the trust that the public places in the frontline workers at our nation’s airports: such illegal conduct will be discovered and the offenders swiftly brought to justice. We appreciate the good work of our law enforcement partners and the cooperation of Delta Air Lines in this investigation.”
According to the indictment, Patton, a TSA employee, brokered a deal in December 2007 with a Drug Enforcement Administration confidential source to transport 2 kilograms of cocaine from Atlanta to New York.
Patton set transportation fees of $5,000 for the first kilogram of cocaine and $3,000 for every additional kilogram thereafter, according to the indictment.
Investigators said Patton gave the confidential source a piece of luggage to get the cocaine past security and onto the Delta Air Lines flight.
On Dec. 19, 2007, both Patton and Mays, a Delta employee, met with the source again and took a carry-on bag packed with fake cocaine and $4,000, investigators said.
Authorities said Patton walked around the security checkpoint carrying the bag and was not challenged by TSA screeners. When he arrived at the T terminal, Patton gave the bag to Adgar who immediately boarded a flight to New York’s LaGuardia airport.
After arriving in New York, Adgar passed the bag back to the source and returned to Atlanta an hour later, according to the indictment.
A second drug-smuggling trip took place in late January using similar tactics, investigators said.
On the third trip, Adgar was arrested by DEA agents while attempting to board a flight to New York. Patton and Mays were both arrested shortly thereafter.
Patton and Adgar have been charged with conspiring to distribute narcotics and attempting to distribute cocaine and heroin. Mays was charged with drug conspiracy and attempting to distribute cocaine.
The charges carry a maximum sentence of life in prison and up to $4 million in fines.
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