Saturday, February 18, 2017

JetBlue employee arrested for cocaine distribution

A JetBlue Airways employee was charged in federal court Friday with distributing cocaine in a scheme that authorities said was particularly troubling because the suspect had access to secure locations and aircraft at Logan International Airport.

Francisco Torres, 36, of Mattapan, faces federal charges of cocaine possession with intent to distribute and distributing cocaine, according to the US Attorney’s Office for Massachusetts.

Torres was arrested in a Thursday night sting in Boston’s South End in which he allegedly exchanged 850 grams of cocaine for more than $33,000 in cash.

Though authorities did not make specific allegations that Torres took advantage of his job, they wrote in court documents about “concerns that Torres may be using his employment at JetBlue and his access to aircraft flying international routes to further his narcotics distribution activities.”

Torres had allegedly traveled to Mexico as part of the scheme, according to court records.

An affidavit written by James P. Mahoney, a special agent with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, alleges that Torres told a cooperating witness that he had gone to Mexico to “see what the problem was” with a delayed drug shipment.

JetBlue said in a statement that it had been “cooperating with authorities during the investigation,” but referred further comment to the US Department of Homeland Security, where officials could not be reached to comment.

Torres did not have an attorney listed in court records, and his current employment status with the airline was not available on Friday.

(Andy Rosen - Boston Globe)

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