Man sentenced to 15 years in weapons smuggling scheme at US airport

October 20, 2007 07:11


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The leader of a drug-and-gun smuggling ring was sentenced to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to sneaking contraband aboard commercial flights out of a Florida airport where he worked. Zabdiel Santiago-Balaguer, 23, a former customs agent for Delta's subsidiary Comair at Orlando International Airport, was sentenced Thursday. Authorities said he used his airport-issued identification card to access restricted areas and evade security checkpoints. Another suspect, Jose Pena Maldonado, was arrested Tuesday in Puerto Rico. Authorities think he wired money to Santiago-Balaguer.

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