80 grams of ‘ice’ sent
to Kauai on airliner

Star-Bulletin staff

U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration officials recovered 80 grams of crystal methamphetamine, or "ice," from luggage that was sent aboard a flight from San Francisco to Lihue over the weekend under suspicious circumstances.

Law enforcement officials are pursuing a criminal case against the United Airlines baggage handler who allegedly sent the bag and expect to "pick up a couple of people here," Thomas Kelly, DEA Special Agent-in-Charge in Honolulu, said yesterday.

The baggage handler allegedly asked a fellow employee Saturday to place the luggage on a United Airlines flight in San Francisco, Kauai police said.

The second baggage handler put the bag on the plane but also informed his manager, police said.

The first handler was later interrogated and told officials there were drugs in the luggage, but by that time the flight was already headed to Kauai, Kelly said.

When the bag arrived in Lihue, Kauai police screened it for explosives, then put it on the baggage carousel.

When no one claimed the bag, police turned it over to the DEA, which sent it to Honolulu.

DEA officials obtained a search warrant and opened the bag Tuesday.

Officials released the handler before the bag was opened, but said they are pursuing criminal charges now.

E-mail to City Desk


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