Barbados National Charged In Drug Case


CaribWorldNews, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Oct. 15, 2010: A 35-year-old Barbados-born baggage handler at New York`s John F. Kennedy International Airport has been indicted on charges they ran an elaborate drug trafficking scheme, smuggling cocaine into the United States on commercial jetliners.

Victor Bourne is accused along with dispatching crew chief Miguel Bozza, 48, of importing 330 pounds (150 kilos) of cocaine and more than 12,000 pounds (5,500 kilos) of marijuana into New York, stowing it on board American Airlines flights traveling from the Caribbean.

Bourne is described by federal authorities as the ringleader, allegedly recruiting airline employees to stow the drugs in airplanes` cargo holds.

Once the planes arrived at JFK, federal authorities say, dispatching crew chiefs, including Bozza, assigned `crews of baggage handlers, who were paid by the Bourne organization to retrieve the cocaine upon arrival.`

The use of commercial aircraft to smuggle narcotics creates a serious threat to both national security and public safety,` said James Hayes of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

According to the newly unsealed indictment, Bourne `employed threats and the actual use of violence … to collect drug debts and deter members of the organization from cooperating with law enforcement.`

Bourne`s mother, Maria Alleyne Bourne, 51, was also charged, accused of aiding in the conspiracy, which ran from 2000 to 2009. Bourne allegedly used a Brooklyn-based footwear business to shield the smuggling and distribution operations.

Federal officials say they`re trying to seize, as part of civil forfeiture, more than $316 million they say came from the smuggling operation. American Airlines did not respond to several calls seeking comment.

Bourne is in custody at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn.

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