A federal grand jury has indicted two former Salt Lake City airport contract employees and another man on conspiracy and drug possession charges.
Federal prosecutors say they smuggled about 500 grams of methamphetamine between Utah, California and Georgia by bypassing airport security and using employee doors to move the drugs through the Salt Lake City airport.
The 10-count indictment was unsealed Friday in Salt Lake City's federal court.
U.S. District Court records show Angel F. Segura, 43, of West Jordan, is facing seven counts of conspiracy and attempted possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute and three counts of entering an airport area in violation of security requirements.
Also charged are Oswaldo Rosas, 29, and Jesus A. Aleman, 20, both of Salt Lake City. Rosas is charged with three counts of conspiracy and attempted drug possession and two of violation airport security rules. Aleman is facing just two drug charges.
Authorities believe the men began transporting the drugs October and continued into June.
Court papers say that in June Segura and Aleman went to retrieve three kilograms of meth at a hotel near Los Angeles International Airport. Segura was paid $4,500 to transport the drugs to Atlanta, charging documents state.
After driving a rental car with Aleman from California to Utah, authorities say Segura contacted Rosas by phone as asked if he was "willing to do what they had talked about."
Court papers say the men met on June 10 in a Salt Lake City International Airport parking lot. Segura gave Rosas a package, which he placed in his backpack and carried into the airport through a secure employee door, court papers say. Rosas bypassed security and took the package into a Delta Airlines lounge, court papers say.
Segura cleared security, recovered the package from the lounge and then transported the drugs _ about three kilograms of meth _ in a black duffel bag to a client at a hotel near the Atlanta airport, court papers say.
In Salt Lake City, Segura and Rosas were both employed by an airport contractor that provides passenger services, such as curbside baggage handling and wheelchair transportation, airport Director of Operations Dave Korzep said.
Segura worked at the airport for two and a half years and Rosas for about one and a half, he said. Both have been fired.
Segura made an initial appearance in federal court on Friday and a judge ordered him held pending a Sept. 19 trial. A telephone message left for his federal public defender after hours on Friday was not returned.
Aleman and Rosas are both scheduled to make initial court appearances on Monday. Court records show no listed attorney for Aleman. Rosas's attorney, Darin Goff, also did not return an after-hours message Friday.
Each of the conspiracy and attempted possession of methamphetamine charges carries a possible maximum penalty of life in prison and the airport security violations each carry a penalty of up to 10 years in prison.