Friday, December 17, 2010

Federal Officer Indicted with 13 Others for Smuggling Guns and Money in the Airport

“Operation Rude Beast” Leads To One of the Largest Ecstasy Pill Seizures in United States History and Charges in Multiple Criminal Schemes

DEC 16 -- ATLANTA, GA – DEA and other law enforcement officials today announced that a federal customs officer based at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport has been arrested and charged along with 13 others for alleged drug trafficking in a large-scale investigation code-named “Operation Rude Beast.” At least four locations in the metro Atlanta area were the targets of search warrants executed today, as part of the investigation.

“The Drug Enforcement Administration is dedicated to working with federal, state and local law enforcement, not only to rid the streets of drugs, but to also to ensure the integrity of those who dedicate their lives to protecting the citizens of the United States,” DEA Atlanta Special Agent in Charge Rodney G. Benson said.  “Today's arrests show the continuing efforts by law enforcement to combat corruption and dismantle a major drug organization.”       

“This investigation involved a corrupt federal law enforcement officer at the airport who allegedly acted as a paid revolving door for drug money and criminal activity,” Ms. Yates said. “The amount of ecstasy in this case is staggering. It appears to be one of the largest such seizures in the country.  The criminal activity was allegedly so spread out that our law enforcement partners formed a task force just for this case. It ranges from large scale drug distribution to an illegal marriage fraud scheme.”

“Today's indictment reflects the outstanding law enforcement cooperation in this case that unmasked the illicit acts of a CBP officer,” said David P. D'Amato, Special Agent in Charge of the ICE Office of Professional Responsibility for the Southeast. “The law enforcement community here in Atlanta and around the country are committed to weeding out those whose acts tarnish the image of the many officers and agents who work tirelessly to keep our communities and country safe.”

In Jamaica, Assistant Police Commissioner Justin Felice of the Jamaican Constabulary Force, Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) said, “This case demonstrates the strong partnership between law enforcement agencies in the United States and Jamaica to combat corruption and bring those who would tarnish their public oaths to uphold the law to justice. The citizens of all countries need to know international cooperation between U.S. law enforcement agencies and the ACB is essential to reduce levels of transnational crime and maintain public confidence with law enforcement. Integrity is non-negotiable.”

“This investigation demonstrates the effectiveness and commitment of law enforcement agencies to prevent drugs from continuing to infiltrate our communities. The multi-jurisdictional cooperation exhibited in this investigation is evidence that pooled resources can make significant inroads in identifying and prosecuting individuals violating the law,”said DeKalb County Police Chief William O'Brien.

CBP Director of Field Operations Robert Gomez said, “Vigilance, Service to Country and Integrity are the core values central to carrying out our mission. One corrupt officer is too many. I applaud the great cooperation of all agencies who worked this case.”

IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Reginael D. McDaniel said,

“The indictments handed down on Operation Rude Beast are another testament to what can be accomplished when all levels of law enforcement work together.  Allegations involving the laundering of drug proceeds constitute a serious threat to our community,  to the integrity of our financial system, as well to our national security.”

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