3 airline workers charged in cocaine smuggling

September 7, 2010 3:17:28 PM PDT
Federal authorities have seized approximately 125 kilograms of cocaine and arrested three current and former airline employees they say conspired to smuggle the drugs into the United States through Newark Liberty International Airport.

Criminal complaints filed Tuesday charge 25-year-old Yunior Lopez of Elizabeth, 29-year-old Amaurys Caminero of Linden and 27-year-old Kerlwin Taveras of the Bronx, N.Y., with conspiracy to distribute cocaine.

Messages left for their attorneys were not immediately returned.

Lopez and Caminero are baggage handlers for Continental Airlines, where Taveras formerly held the same job.

Prosecutors say the cocaine arrived aboard flights from the Dominican Republic.

Continental Airlines released a statement saying, "Continental Airlines has zero tolerance for this type of activity and has immediately suspended the two employees who were suspected of involvement. We will continue to work closely with law enforcement officials in the ongoing investigation of this case."