Those who work at airports handling and monitoring luggage are in a position of great public trust. However, they may also be subject to temptation to flout the rules in exchange for monetary rewards. According to defense attorneys, the temptation was too great for nine airline workers based at the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport in Texas who were allegedly part of a drug conspiracy operating from 2016 to 2018, hired to smuggle methamphetamines onto commercial flights.

The airline workers in the case are all men who range in age from 21 to 45 years old. As of March, they have all appeared in federal court in Dallas and agreed to plead guilty to charges of drug conspiracy. Their arrests last year were the culmination of a two-year sting by federal authorities.

Simulated drugs were necessary to the sting, yet the alleged ringleader of the airport-based conspirators was reportedly willing to smuggle more than just controlled substances. He allegedly offered to smuggle baggage containing C-4 explosives onto a flight, which spurred FBI agents into action to start making arrests when they found out about it. According to federal authorities, the airline employees had indicated a willingness to smuggle weapons or any other prohibited objects on commercial flights if the price was right.

Nevertheless, one defense attorney points out that many of the men involved in the smuggling operation do not have any history of prior convictions, and many of them are young men in their 20s. He claims that the client he represents regrets his conduct and hopes the judge in the case takes these factors into account.

The safety concerns related to the conspirators’ alleged actions could result in harsher penalties, but the price for drug violations is often steep in any case, and those facing charges may benefit from hiring an attorney.