Three Airline Employees Indicted for Conspiring to Import Drugs into Hartsfield-Jackson Airport; One Remains a Fugitive
Over $614,000 Worth of Methamphetamine and Heroin
Seized Off an Airline Flight
ATLANTA, GA - LUIS MARROQUIN, 35, of Atlanta, Georgia, CARLOS R. SPRINGER, 41, of Hampton, Georgia, and KELVIN RONDON, 27, of Atlanta, Georgia, were indicted by a federal grand jury on May 1, 2012 on charges of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute methamphetamine and heroin and attempting to import methamphetamine and heroin into the United States from Mexico.
SPRINGER was arrested on Tuesday, May 1 and was arraigned yesterday before United States Magistrate Judge Linda T. Walker. SPRINGER has a bond hearing scheduled for 11:30 a.m. on Monday May 7, 2012, before Magistrate Judge Walker.
RONDON was arrested yesterday afternoon in Miami, Florida, and will appear before a United States Magistrate Judge in Miami later today where federal prosecutors will request that RONDON be detained and removed to the Northern District of Georgia.
LUIS MARROQUIN remains a fugitive at this time. See attached photograph below. Anyone with information about his whereabouts should contact the Department of Homeland Security Tip Line at 1-866-347-2423.
United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said of the case: “These defendants are charged with conspiring to import over a half million dollars’ worth of deadly drugs into our community via a commercial airliner. We will continue to work with airline security teams and our law enforcement partners to prosecute those who attempt to use their airport credentials and access as a means to engage in illegal drug trafficking.”
“Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is a key gateway into the United States, and therefore a high priority for HSI’s mandate to uphold national security and improve public safety,” said Brock D. Nicholson, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Atlanta. “Along with our law enforcement partners, and in this case Delta Airlines Security, we vigorously investigate attempts to circumvent airport security by those willing to criminally abuse their access for private gain.” Nicholson oversees HSI activities in Georgia and the Carolinas.
According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges and other information presented in court: On January 13, 2012, at approximately 11:57 a.m., Delta Airlines flight number 364 arrived at the Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport from Mexico City, Mexico. Shortly thereafter, a Delta Airlines agent found an unclaimed piece of luggage on a baggage carousel with a tag corresponding to flight 364. Customs and Border Protection agents inspected the luggage, and determined that it contained multiple packages of methamphetamine and heroin. Later that same day, agents from the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) interviewed SPRINGER, who was the performance leader for the shift of ramp employees who off-loaded the baggage on flight 364. During a search of SPRINGER’S cellular telephone, agents found coded incriminating text messages between SPRINGER and MARROQUIN around the time of the arrival of the flight.
The charges carry a maximum sentence of life in prison and a fine of up to $10,000,000. In determining the actual sentence, the Court will consider the United States Sentencing Guidelines, which are not binding but provide appropriate sentencing ranges for most offenders.
Members of the public are reminded that the indictment only contains charges. The defendants are presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government's burden to prove the defendants’ guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.
The U.S. Attorney's Office in Atlanta recommends parents and children learn about the dangers of drugs at the following web site: www.justthinktwice.com.
This case is being investigated by HSI Special Agents and Task Force Officers with valuable assistance from Delta Airlines Corporate Security.
Assistant United States Attorney Michael Herskowitz is prosecuting the case.
For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney's Public Information Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the HomePage for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Georgia is www.justice.gov/usao/gan