New York State American Airlines Mechanic Hid $320,000 Cocaine In Cockpit
An American Airlines pilot in New York has been found guilty of smuggling large amounts of cocaine in a plane he worked on. The mechanic worked for American Airlines at JFK Airport in New York City. He was found guilty of smuggling $320,000 worth of cocaine into the United States using the cockpit of an AA plane. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) officers found ten bricks of cocaine that the mechanic had hidden inside a secret compartment under the cockpit of an airplane.
Paul Belloisi, of Hicksville, New York, was found guilty of three counts of conspiring to possess cocaine, conspiring to import cocaine, and importing cocaine. A federal jury found him guilty following a trial in Brooklyn district court. Prosecutors in the case painted Belloisi as the inside man in an international drug trafficking gang. They claimed that the ring was responsible for smuggling cocaine from Jamaica into the United States. Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York said,
As proven, the defendant was caught red-handed trying to facilitate the smuggling of a large stash of cocaine hidden in an electronics compartment of the aircraft. This corrupt airline mechanic not only abused his position of trust and undermined the security of a vital border crossing in our district, but was also willing to potentially endanger the safety of travelers as well as the community.
On February 4, 2020, American Airlines Flight 1349 arrived at JFK Airport from Montego Bay, Jamaica. The cocaine was found by CBP officers from the JFK Airport Anti-Terrorism Contraband Enforcement Team. They found 10 bricks of cocaine weighing 25.56 pounds. It was hidden inside an electronics compartment underneath the cockpit. In a sting, officers replaced the bricks with fake cocaine. Officers found that Belloisi handled the fake bricks, which had been spray painted with special ink. The cocaine had a street value of approximately $285,000 to $320,000.
No details about sentencing were provided.