Drug Traffickers

December 20, 2016 OPINION/NEWS

By

Ricardo Swire

The Bureau of International Narcotics & Law Enforcement Affairs, 2016 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), named Jamaica as a transit point for cocaine trafficked from South America to North America and international markets.

In 2015 drug trafficking on the island was enabled and accompanied by organized crime, domestic and international gang activity, as well as police and government corruption. Drugs serve as a means of exchange for illegally smuggled firearms entering Jamaica, exacerbating the island’s internal security situation.

The high volumes of tourist travel and airline traffic are two main factors that contribute to Jamaica’s drug trafficking business. Air freight and couriers move drugs from and through Jamaica to America. The US and Jamaica are bilateral parties to a mutual legal assistance treaty and an extradition treaty. In 2015 the extradition treaty was successfully used. Jamaica’s US sponsored Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI) support includes training, equipment and logistics for prevention/interdiction of drugs and firearms trafficking.

Not long ago a former 2008 Miss Jamaica World beauty pageant runner-up and aspiring nurse confessed in US court that she earned thousands of dollars, as one participant in a transnational drugs and money trafficking scheme. On March 18th, 2016 the thirty-one year-old Jamaica born Queens New York resident and New York University graduate arrived at Los Angeles International Airport.

After she presented JetBlue Flight Attendant credentials at Terminal 4 the technology randomly selected her for additional security checks. As US Transport Security Administration (TSA) agents were about to search her two carryon bags the ex-Flight Attendant absconded, running down an upward moving escalator. TSA agents found eleven parcels containing seventy pounds of cocaine, worth US$3 million, in her abandoned luggage. The ex-Flight Attendant managed to elude capture for twenty-four hours and boarded a JetBlue flight to New York City (NYC).

The US Federal report alluded that an unidentified male accomplice supplied her with a prepaid “burner” mobile phone before he jetted off to Jamaica. On previous occasions the former airline employee’s status as “known crew member” provided her with the advantage to avoid some security screening at Los Angeles International Airport and John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. Maximizing such benefit the ex-Flight Attendant ferried drugs across continental US and carried sales’ revenue to Southern California.

The former JetBlue employee partnered with the unnamed Jamaican male accomplice, referred to only as G.B, who operated as an illegal alien and the trafficking network’s Massachusetts cocaine distributor. The US Federal report noted G.B targeted mentally disabled American quarries and stole their identities. He misappropriated the pilfered documents to secure multiple passports and driver’s licenses.

On March 17th 2016 G.B flew from New York to Los Angeles. His task was to coordinate drug drop offs and pickups for East coast clients, synchronized with the ex-JetBlue employee’s duty schedule. Next day the ex-Flight Attendant flew from New York to Los Angeles and collected suitcases packed with fifty-nine point three nine pounds of cocaine. On Wednesday March 23rd 2016, after reporting to work for her scheduled duty, the former JetBlue Flight Attendant surrendered to Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents assigned to John F. Kennedy International Airport.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ricardo Swire - Tuck Magazine

Ricardo Swire

Ricardo Swire is the Principal Consultant at R-L-H Security Consultants & Business Support Services and writes on a number of important issues.

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