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Suspects accused of trafficking drugs on major airlines

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • NEW: The suspects allegedly smuggled cocaine in suitcases on major airlines
  • NEW: The suspects allegedly swallowed heroin and smuggled it on their bodies
  • Three of 25 total arrests in the drug ring were made Friday

(CNN) -- Federal drug agents said Friday that they have made several arrests in connection with a group that allegedly was using major airlines to transport cocaine and heroin into the United States, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.

On Friday, authorities arrested three former employees of a private baggage and transport company who had worked at an airport in Puerto Rico, the Drug Enforcement Administration said.

Agents now have made 25 total arrests connected to the alleged drug trafficking ring, the DEA said.

The suspects were able to get access to US Airways, Delta, Continental and JetBlue airlines in their efforts to transport the drugs, the DEA said.

Members of the organization allegedly smuggled "cocaine-laden" suitcases onto flights. The organization was able to smuggle up to 200 kilograms (about 441 pounds) of cocaine a month, the DEA said.

The organization also used drug couriers who swallowed "heroin pellets" and smuggled that drug in their bodies on flights between Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, the DEA said.