Two people, who worked for different companies based at Bush Intercontinental Airport, each face no less than ten years in prison and a fine of no more than $4 million after they were arrested on charges related to heroin smuggling.
Houston resident Rolin Eli Escober and Humble resident Elidia Molina were each charged with possessing and conspiring to possess a controlled substance, U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced in a statement released Monday.
Escober, 50, and Molina, 33, used their status as airport employees to circumvent airport security measures and smuggle more than two kilograms of heroin and 13 kilograms of sham heroin on Friday, based on criminal complaint filed against them.
Escober, an Express Jet employee, and Molina, a DAL Global Services employee, worked together to use their positions at the airport and their knowledge of security to circumvent airport security and smuggle items in exchange for pre-negotiated sums of cash from an undercover Homeland Security Investigations special agent who they each believed to be a narcotics trafficker, according to the complaint.
During one shift, Escober and Molina, based on the complaint, smuggled $100,000 in U.S. currency, multiple fraudulent identification documents; they also smuggled 1.2 kilograms of heroin during another shift.
Escober and Molina were arrested after successfully smuggling 13 kilograms of sham heroin and 1.2 kilograms of heroin around security and returning it to undercover agents who waited for them near the boarding gate.
HSI worked together with the Houston Police Department Narcotics Division, Transportation Security Administration Office of Law Enforcement and the Houston Airport System to conduct the investigation.