Airport Employees Arrested for Smuggling Heroin
|Oct. 22, 2012|
HOUSTON - Rolin Eli Escober, of Houston, and Elidia Molina, of Humble, have been arrested on charges of possessing and conspiring to possess a controlled substance, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today.
Escober, 50, and Molina, 33, are charged by criminal complaint with using their status as airport employees at Bush Intercontinental Airport to circumvent airport security measures and smuggle more than two kilograms of heroin and 13 kilograms of sham heroin on Oct. 19, 2012.
According to the complaint, Escober and Molina are employees of Express Jet and DAL Global Services, respectively. They allegedly conspired together to use their positions as employees at the airport and their knowledge of security to circumvent airport security and smuggle items in exchange for pre-negotiated sums of cash from an undercover Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agent who they each believed to be a narcotics trafficker.
The complaint alleges on one occasion they smuggled $100,000 in U.S. currency and numerous fraudulent identification documents as well as 1.2 kilograms of heroin on a second occasion. On Oct.19, 2012, they were arrested after successfully smuggling 13 kilograms of sham heroin and 1.2 kilograms of heroin around security and returning it to the waiting undercover agents near the boarding gate.
Both face at least 10 years and up to life in prison, if convicted, as well as a possible $4 million fine.
HSI investigated in conjunction with the Houston Police Department Narcotics Division, Transportation Security Administration Office of Law Enforcement and the Houston Airport System. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mark McIntyre.
A criminal complaint is an accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until convicted through due process of law.