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Delta employee arrested with more than $282,000 in backpack

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Story highlights

  • Jean Yves Selius was arrested Saturday at Palm Beach International Airport in Florida
  • He tells investigators he was being paid up to $1,000 to deliver the backpack to an unknown person

(CNN)Authorities say he'd planned to pass off the secret cash to someone inside an airport bathroom, but they got to him first.

Jean Yves Selius, a Delta Air Lines ramp agent, was arrested Saturday at Palm Beach International Airport in Florida, according to a criminal complaint filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Southern Florida. He was allegedly caught carrying $282,400 in a backpack.
    Selius, 26, used his airport identification to bypass security checkpoints and enter a so-called sterile area from the outside tarmac ramps, according to an affidavit from Homeland Security Special Agent Jon A. Longo. Selius, who was wearing civilian clothes, was approached by an airport operation officer and asked to show the contents of his backpack.
    Selius did so willingly, the complaint said, "revealing large packets of cash wrapped in clear, vacuum sealed bundles."
    He then proceeded to tell investigators that he was being paid up to $1,000 to give the backpack to an unknown person in a bathroom inside the airport's sterile area, the complaint said. He'd allegedly done such drop-offs before for about a year, earning close to $4,000 for his work.
    Selius only knew the men who paid him as "Ricky" and "John," but admitted he knew the backpack contained a large amount of money that did not "come from a good cause," the complaint said.
    He faces a single charge of illegal money transmitting. According to The Palm Beach Post, records show that he made an appearance in federal court Monday and will remain in custody up at least until a hearing this week.
    The case is not the first time airline employees have been accused of wrongdoing.
    A JetBlue flight attendant was recently accused of leaving 68 pounds of cocaine at a Los Angeles International Airport security checkpoint.
    And in 2014, authorities announced the breakup of a gun smuggling ring allegedly involving two Delta Air Lines employees at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.