BOSTON – Five commercial airline employees were arrested today and charged after an undercover operation revealed that they used their airport security clearances to secretly smuggle thousands of dollars in cash, past security checkpoints.
According to the complaint affidavit, they transported cash, which was represented to be drug proceeds, past Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officials and security check points and, in some instances, aboard commercial airline flights at Logan International Airport.
It is alleged that nine money laundering transactions were completed, which involved approximately $417,000 in cash the defendants believed to be drug proceeds.
Rupert Crossley, 25, of Lynn, Mass.; Alvin Leacock, 27, of Hollywood, Fla.; Eric Vick, 24, of Mattapan, Mass.; Anthony Trotman, 24, of Boston, Mass., all JetBlue Airways ground operations crew members and Dino Dunkley, 31, of Boston, Mass., a Delta Air Lines customer service ramp agent, were each charged in a criminal complaint with money laundering and of conspiracy to defraud the United States, namely, the TSA, by entering Boston’s Logan International Airport with the intent to evade security procedures, and with the intent to commit a felony, in a secure airport area.
According to the affidavit, each of the defendants used his individual airport security clearance to circumvent TSA security checkpoints and smuggle large amounts of cash from non-secure airport areas, such as curbside passenger drop-off/pick-up or public restrooms near baggage claim, to secure areas of the airport, such as passenger departure gates. In return, each defendant received a cash payment from a cooperating witness involved in the investigation. Defendants Vick and Dunkley each transported the smuggled cash aboard commercial airline flights from Boston to Florida.
U.S. Attorney Ortiz said, “Security at our nation’s airports is paramount and the conduct alleged today is alarming. 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.”
“Today marks the culmination of a very detailed investigation,” said Bruce Foucart, Special Agent in Charge of HSI. “I want to thank all of the security officials within Massport, TSA, Mass. State Police, and the affected airlines. Their due diligence throughout this investigation, combined with the tireless work of my special agents made today’s arrests possible.”
If convicted, each defendant faces up to 20 years in prison.
U.S. Attorney Ortiz and SAC Foucart made the announcement today. The case was investigated with the assistance of Bob Allison, Federal Security Director, Transportation Security Administration; Special Agent in Charge Dwain Troutt of the Federal Air Marshal Service; and Colonel Timothy P. Alben, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police. The U.S. Attorney’s Office would also like to acknowledge the assistance and cooperation of Jet Blue Corporate Security and Delta Airlines. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Carlos A. Lopez of Ortiz’s Major Crimes Unit and Dustin Chao of Ortiz’s Public Corruption Unit.
The details contained in the complaint affidavit are allegations. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.