BOSTON (WHDH) -
Five commercial airline employees were arrested on Thursday for allegedly using their airport security clearances to smuggle thousands of dollars in cash past security checkpoints at Logan Airport according to U.S. attorney Carmen Ortiz.
A complaint affidavit states that there were nine money laundering transactions completed, with approximately $417,000 involved. It's believed the cash was drug proceeds. Investigators say over a year and a half the men were paid between $1,000 and $2,000 to move the money from public spaces like baggage claim to secured areas and then on to planes.
Rupert Crossley, 25, of Lynn, Alvin Leacock, 27, of Hollywood, Fla., Eric Vick, 24, of Mattapan, Anthony Trotman, 24, of Boston all worked with JetBlue Airways. Dino Dunkley, 31, of Boston was a Delta Air Lines customer service ramp agent. All were each charged with a criminal complaint with money laundering and conspiracy to defraud the United States.
Eric Vick's mother said her son is a good kid that everybody loved.
“He's about just music and working for this to just happen I don't get it," Ada Vick said.
An undercover operation revealed the information.
"Security at our nation's airports is paramount and the conduct alleged today is alarming," U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz said. "Thanks to the hard work and commitment of the federal and state investigators and airline security personnel, a potentially dangerous breach in security was identified."
An attorney for one of the men says his client was approached by the government to bring the cash through the airport.
“Taking money to avoid checkpoints is wrong, but he wouldn’t have done it, none of these guys would have done anything illegal if the government hadn’t come to them and said ‘we want you to do this’ and offered them a lot of money to do it," Keith Halpern said.
Both JetBlue and Delta are cooperating with authorities on the matter. A spokesperson from Delta also added that Dunkley has been suspended pending the outcome of the internal investigation.
A spokesperson from Massport applauded the authorities who handled the investigation and said the organization cooperated fully.
"As part of Logan's security program, all persons receiving identification that provides unescorted access to the secure areas undergo careful vetting which includes a criminal background check," Miraj Berry from Massport said.
Passengers at Logan Airport said they are concerned after hearing about the alleged smuggling.
“If they can smuggle cash imagine what else they can smuggle. It could have been guns it could have been weapons it could have been bombs it could have been anything,” Spencer Collins said.
Thursday, August 21 2014 12:56 PM EDT2014-08-21 16:56:56 GMT
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