Drug War Corruption: Employees at points of entry find that crime pays better than baggage handling 8/29/97

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Last month, nine employees of Delta Airlines were arrested for smuggling drugs in various hiding places on commercial flights. It has been estimated that the ring had been operating for four years and was successful in bringing thousands of pounds of Colombian cocaine into the U.S.

Since October, the U.S. Customs Service says that 148 commercial cargo employees at airports and seaports have been arrested nationwide. "Internal conspiracies" as they are called, were suspected in 57% of the drug seizures from aircraft at Miami International Airport, while at the Port of Miami, 60% of seizures were thought to have had help on the inside. The employees involved include workers of nearly every employment description from baggage handlers to caterers.

Felix Jiminez, DEA Special Agent in charge for the Caribbean in San Juan told the New York Times, "A guy who's making $5 an hour suddenly is making $400,000 a year by doing this." Hardwick Crawford Jr. FBI assistant special agent adds, "nothing will turn a buck like drugs will. Honest workers are susceptible to that."


The mayor of Cali, home of the infamous "Cali Cartel," has been arrested on corruption charges stemming from his alleged ties to that city's drug trafficking elite.

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Issue #9, 8/29/97 International News: US Claims Progress, Fog Lifting in UK Drug Policy, March in Germany, Mexico Blood Bath | Drug War Corruption: Employees at points of entry find that crime pays better than baggage handling | Medical Marijuana: California Attorney General adds a surprising voice to calls for research | Student Drug Testing: An old and nearly forgotten phrase is uttered by a New Jersey judge... Probable cause | Media Alert: The Wall Street Journal hits the nail on the head with regard to the Drug War's destruction of Colombia's society | Justice and Human Rights: Criminal justice systems out of control in the US and China | Link of the Week: Shedding light on the impact of America's overused criminal justice system | Quote of the Week: Drug Czar McCaffrey has figured out one of the problems | Editorial: Needle exchange is still illegal in New Jersey... but that doesn't make it wrong
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