ATLANTA — A plot by three workers at Atlanta's airport to smuggle a bag filled with heroin and methamphetamine into the U.S. was foiled when the baggage ended up on an unclaimed luggage carousel, prosecutors said Thursday.
The workers were charged conspiring to smuggle more than $500,000 worth of the drugs into the country on a Delta Air Lines flight in January from Mexico City after another employee discovered the drug-laden bag on the carousel. Prosecutors said the three sent frantic coded text messages to each other trying to find the bag before realizing it was too late.
Carlos Springer, 41, and Kelvin Rondon, 27, were both arrested this week on the charges. A third man, Luis Marroquin, remains a fugitive. It’s unclear if the men have an attorney, and calls to their phones went unanswered.
“We will continue to work with airline security teams and our law enforcement partners to prosecute those who attempt to use their airport credentials and access as a means to engage in illegal drug trafficking,” said U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates.
Investigators zeroed in on the airline workers in January after a worker found an unclaimed piece of luggage stuffed with packages of methamphetamine and heroin from a flight that arrived in Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport from Mexico City. Federal agents soon suspected the bag was smuggled in by corrupt employees, partly based on the large handwritten orange sticker on the outside of the bag, according to court records.
Tulip Time Festival may be a ‘Stem Fest’
HOLLAND — The annual Tulip Time Festival in West Michigan is looking like it might be more of a “Stem Fest” thanks to unseasonably warm weather that brought out blooming flowers earlier than usual this year.
So organizers of the 83-year-old event in Holland are embracing the otherwise troublesome presence of so many flowerless stems in the city’s tulip beds. The Holland Sentinel reports they’ll start selling $10 “Stem Fest” shirts and $1 buttons Friday, the day before the festival opens.
The black T-shirts depict a wilting white tulip missing its petals.
The Holland parks department estimated Monday that about 40 percent of the 500,000 flowers planted by the city will be in bloom next week.
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