BY TRESA BALDAS
Twelve people were charged today in two separate drug smuggling schemes involving baggage handlers at Detroit Metro Airport who allegedly helped sneak in suitcases filled with marijuana and cocaine from Jamaica and Houston.
According to two criminal complaints unsealed today in U.S. District Court in Detroit, six individuals were charged with running a drug smuggling scheme between Jamaica and Detroit by using baggage employee codes and insider knowledge to get drugs past security.
The complaint alleges that Northwest/Delta Airlines baggage handlers at Detroit Metro Airport were in cahoots with airport employees in Jamaica who helped sneak the suitcases full of marijuana and cocaine into Detroit. The scheme was discovered on Jan. 23, 2010, when a federal agent learned about a drug seizure by Jamaican Customs involving roughly 53 pounds of marijuana. The drugs were in a suitcase headed for Detroit, which triggered an investigation that revealed an inside job.