Federal authorities in Atlanta have arrested 14 individuals in connection with an airport ecstasy investigation that yielded $2.8 million in ecstasy pills. A U.S. Customs agent at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport and his wife, a Delta employee, were among those arrested. The seizure was the largest in the nation for 2010 and the ninth largest in the nation’s history.
The customs agent, who resides in Stockbridge, has been charged with conspiring to launder drug money, attempting to bring weapons onto airplanes and smuggling cash. According to the federal indictment, the customs agent traveled with over $20,000, which he believed to be drug money, from Atlanta to Jamaica where delivered the cash to an undercover agent posing as a drug dealer. Two other similar trips also allegedly took place. Police believe the customs agent used his clearance powers to bring weapons on board the aircraft and to run computer checks to see if he was being investigated.
A parallel investigation led police to a home in Chamblee, Georgia where they found 70,000 ecstasy tabs. Police also discovered a significant quantity of cocaine. Authorities believe the drug ring was headed by Jerome Bushay from Norcorss, Georgia and an individual named Fnu Lu. The other individuals who were arrested resided in Atlanta, Lithonia, Stone Mountain, Snellville, Decatur and Covington.
Our Atlanta criminal defense lawyers have successfully represented numerous clients accused of participating in large drug conspiracies. In fact, we were recently retained to represent a local police officer accused of protecting drug dealers after a lengthy federal investigation.
In these cases, guilt or innocence often comes down to whether the individual is perceived to have had knowledge of the alleged conspiracy. A good criminal defense attorney will carefully review all police wire taps, audio and video recordings, reports and other documents to determine if the government has any evidence which tends to show that the individual had knowledge of the drugs. If the evidence is weak or questionable, a defense attorney can often negotiate a reduced charge or outright dismissal prior to trial.