Three baggage handlers working for Southwest Airlines were among more than a dozen people arrested in what federal authorities allege was a long-running marijuana shipping operation that took advantage of the special security access bag handlers enjoy at California’s Oakland International Airport.
The baggage handlers allegedly used their ability to avoid security checkpoints to gain access to passenger terminals beyond the checkpoint. They’d then hand off bags of drugs to people who had cleared security and would then take the package onto a plane headed for another city, where the drugs would be sold.
Some packages of pot were smuggled as cargo, the Contra Costra Times reports, and at least one of the co-conspirators is said to have posted photos of large bundles of cash and marijuana on Instagram.
In a statement released yesterday, Oakland International Airport officials said they had been working closely with law enforcement from the outset of this investigation “to root out, stop, and prevent criminal activity and we’re pleased to see the investigation concluding and the people involved held accountable.”
Southwest airline issued a statement saying it too is fully cooperating with authorities.