Air Smugglers er...I mean Marshals...


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Autolycus
April 5, 2006, 01:33 AM
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12143509/
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Air marshals plead guilty to drug smuggling
Marshals accepted $15,000 in return for carrying cocaine on Vegas flight


Updated: 2:32 a.m. ET April 4, 2006
HOUSTON - Two U.S. air marshals pleaded guilty Monday to accepting money to smuggle cocaine on a flight to Las Vegas and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors.

The marshals admitted they accepted $15,000 to use their positions as air marshals to bypass airport security and smuggle 15 pounds of cocaine.

Shawn Ray Nguyen’s attorney, Kent Schaffer, said his client pleaded guilty because “he felt that the best way to ... demonstrate his repentance about his conduct was to take a guilty plea as early as possible.”

George Parnham, an attorney for Burlie Sholar III, said the plea was the best alternative. “We want to save ourselves as much of his future as we can,” he said.

Homeland Security spokesman David Adams said that Sholar and Nguyen remained on indefinite suspension without pay.

According to the criminal complaint, Nguyen, 32, smuggled two envelopes containing drug money and fraudulent government documents past airport security in December.

Nguyen then discussed with the informant smuggling large loads of cocaine and bringing in others to help, according to the complaint.

Authorities had said Nguyen recruited Sholar, 38, for the plan.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark McIntyre said the investigation is continuing.

The men face 10 years to life in prison and a maximum fine of $4 million on the smuggling charge, and 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on a bribery charge.

2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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ElTacoGrande
April 5, 2006, 01:58 AM
Well, my first thought about this is that these are the guys who are trusted enough to pack guns on airplanes, when I (who has never touched drugs or been involved in any illegal activity) am not allowed to carry a gun in front of my own house in California. Second, these guys have security clearances. Yes that's right, unlike most other LEOs these guys get classified threat briefings so they have security clearances. What else are they selling out, and to whom?

The marshals admitted they accepted $15,000 to use their positions as air marshals to bypass airport security and smuggle 15 pounds of cocaine.

And finally, they sure sell themselves cheap! That's probably only about 3 or 4 months of their regular salary. If I had a magic CCW that lets me carry nationally and internationally and on planes and I have a shiny government badge, I would sell myself out as a bodyguard in my spare time and make just as much money and not risk going to jail.

Autolycus
April 5, 2006, 02:04 AM
They are going cheap aren't they.

real_name
April 5, 2006, 02:32 AM
Cheap?
Not if they were making $15K every flight they were on.

$30K a day is quickly a LOT of money.

Crosshair
April 5, 2006, 02:41 AM
As my dad says: Money talks, bullsh*t walks. (and there is ALOT of bullsh*t with airline security.) A few of my classmates in high school did some small time smuggling to Canada, (Mostly booze and cigs from the rez.) the money is darn tempting. $15,000 a pop with virtualy 0% risk? Heck yea. There is so much money in the drug trade that it would be hard to go ANYWHERE and not find someone in power bought and paid for by the drug cartels.

iiibdsiil
April 5, 2006, 02:50 AM
They do it once, then their name gets out for repeats. 15K a pop, couple times a month... Where do I sign up? :neener:

waterhouse
April 5, 2006, 01:27 PM
How did they get caught? It seems like if you get to bypass security it would be pretty difficult for anyone to ever find out. Did they just get caught because they talked about it?

bratch
April 5, 2006, 02:08 PM
Whats the street value of 15 pounds of cocaine?

Stickjockey
April 5, 2006, 02:36 PM
According to a recent news article (so take it with a grain of salt), street value for cocaine is around $100/gram. One pound = 453.59 grams, so 15 pounds of coke comes out to roughly $680,385.

Henry Bowman
April 5, 2006, 03:05 PM
How did they get caught? It seems like if you get to bypass security it would be pretty difficult for anyone to ever find out. Did they just get caught because they talked about it?That's what I wondered, too. I bet some dealer got caught and rolled over on them to get out of his own mess. If so, glad he did.

ElTacoGrande
April 5, 2006, 03:55 PM
That's what I wondered, too. I bet some dealer got caught and rolled over on them to get out of his own mess. If so, glad he did.

Certainly that's what happened. These guys are pleading innocent so they will surely also hand over whatever they know in hopes of seeing the outside before they need Depends.

iiibdsiil
April 5, 2006, 05:01 PM
Whats the street value of 15 pounds of cocaine?

I dunno what a kilo is going for anymore, but, call it 15 grand. Kilo = 2.2 pounds, so you are looking at close to 7 kilos. 15 grand a pop is 105 grand. He made almost 15% of the total product. That's a nice %. My buddy sells furniture, and he pays 10% freight to have stuff delievered.

Depending how you cut it and how many smaller sales you wanna do makes a big difference too. And I'm not sure what the value of a kilo is anymore.

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