LAX baggage handler gets prison for drug-smuggling operation

Baggage handler
A former baggage handler for Delta Air Lines at Los Angeles International Airport was sentenced to one year in prison for his role in a drug-smuggling operation.
(Frederic J. Brown / AFP/Getty Images)

A former baggage handler for Delta Air Lines at Los Angeles International Airport was sentenced Thursday to one year in prison for his part in a cross-country drug ring that used an employee entrance to sneak heroin and cocaine into checked luggage. 

Ulysses Bluntson -- who was arrested in early 2012 -- was sentenced in U.S. District Court after he was convicted of conspiracy to enter an airport area in violation of security requirements, said Thom Mrozek, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Bluntson was approached to make “some extra money” by placing a backpack inside an already checked bag before being loaded onto the aircraft,” according to the sentencing memorandum submitted by Bluntson’s attorney.

For each bag, Bluntson was paid $1,000 and carried it out between six and 12 times over a six-month period, according to the document.


“Mr. Bluntson did not ask any questions about what was in the backpack, nor did he ever look inside the backpack, but he has admitted that he believed the contents were either drugs or money,” according to the memorandum.

According to prosecutors, co-conspirators would board the plane and pick up the drug-packed luggage in the city where the drugs were to be sold or distributed.


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