An American Airlines (AA) mechanic is accused of smuggling a large quantity of drugs from Jamaica in a secret plane compartment.
A law enforcement team found 25 pounds of cocaine in an external compartment of a jetliner that had recently departed from Montego Bay, Jamaica.
US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) reported that 52-year old Paul Belloisi, who was arrested on February 5, is charged with conspiracy to possess cocaine with intent to distribute.
According to court filings, on February 4, 2020, shortly after the AA flight flight arrived at the John F Kenendy airport in New York, a routine search by ICE resulted in the discovery of cocaine bricks concealed behind an insulation blanket in a compartment beneath the aircraft.
Law enforcement teams began surveillance of the aircraft.
Shortly before the aircraft was scheduled to depart Belloisi was reportedly observed approaching the aircraft and entering the compartment where the cocaine had been hidden.
The team of law enforcement officers confronted Belloisi after he exited the compartment.