Three Former Delta Air Lines Employees Conspired to Import Illegal Drugs into Hartsfield-Jackson Airport
Over $614,000 Worth of Methamphetamine and Heroin Seized From
Delta Air Lines Flight from Mexico City
ATLANTA - Luis Marroquin, 36, of Atlanta, Ga., Carlos R. Springer, 42, of Hampton, Ga., and Kelvin Rondon, 28, of Miami, Fla., were sentenced today by United States District Judge Orinda Evans for conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute methamphetamine and heroin.
“We serve the citizens of our district by promoting healthy and safe communities and we will prosecute anyone who uses our airports to import deadly drugs,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. “People have a reasonable expectation when boarding an airplane that airline personnel will be professionals who value their safety,” she said, “and will not expose them to illegal activity.”
According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges and other information presented in court: On January 13, 2012, Delta Air Lines flight 364 arrived at the Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport from Mexico City. A Delta agent discovered an unclaimed piece of luggage at a baggage carousel with a tag for flight 364. Customs and Border Protection agents inspected the luggage, and determined that it contained multiple packages of suspected illegal narcotics. Later that same day, Springer was interviewed by Homeland Security Investigations agents. Springer 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. Rondon was observed on the video of the arrival and unloading of flight 364, although he was off-duty and had no authorization to work the flight.
Agents also learned that Marroquin recruited Rondon. Rondon was to make sure that the bag was on the flight, and was to be paid $500 per package. The day before flight 364 arrived Rondon was shown a photo of the drug-laden bag on Marroquin’s telephone. Rondon stated when he arrived on the tarmac he helped unload the cargo and attempted to find the bag but was unsuccessful.
“The security of critical infrastructure like Hartsfield-Jackson Airport is a key national security concern,” said Brock D. Nicholson, Special Agent in Charge of ICE Homeland Security Investigations in Atlanta. “HSI special agents and our partners like U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Delta security team are committed to identifying those who seek to exploit the system and ensuring they are held accountable for their actions.”
Following the return of the indictment on May 1, 2012, Marroquin fled the Atlanta area but was apprehended several days later in a residence in Coral Springs, Fla.
Marroquin was sentenced to 15 years, 8 months in prison to be followed by 5 years of supervised release.
Springer was sentenced to 11 years, 3 months in prison to be followed by 5 years of supervised release.
Rondon was sentenced to 5 years, 3 months in prison to be followed by 5 years of supervised release.
Marroquin, Springer, and Rondon were convicted of the above charges upon their pleas of guilty last year.
This case was investigated by Special Agents with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and Task Force Officers, with assistance from Delta Air Lines Corporate Security,
Assistant United States Attorney Michael Herskowitz prosecuted the case.
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.
For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs 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.