On Tuesday, Marcelo Chaves and Ronald Maldonado, Delta Air Lines flight attendants, were arrested at Miami International Airport for smuggling drugs. Earlier today, they had to appear in court in South Florida.
Two flight attendants arrested for smuggling drugs
On Tuesday, upon arriving in Miami on an American Airlines flight from Brasil, flight attendants Marcelo Chaves and his boyfriend Ronald Maldonado were arrested for smuggling drugs into the United States. Today, two days after being detained, Chaves and Maldonado, New York residents, appeared in a South Florida bond court.
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In a statement given to a local news channel, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent said,
“CBP officers ar Miami airport arrested (2) US citizens after they arrived on a flight from Brazil for p0ssession and transportation of narcotics. State Attorney’s office accepted prosecution and both subjects were turned over to Dade PD at MIA Airport. This incident remains under investigation.” – Robert Brisley
A CBP officer performing a random check discovered that the two men were transporting more than just travel clothes. Multiple substances were found in their luggage, including ketamine, methamphetamine, and GBL, a GHB substitute.
Photo: Miami International Airport
Most substances were found in two glass bottles, a transparent plastic bottle, and in their bags. Enough drugs were found in the bags, and the couple is now faced with felony drug trafficking charges. The two claimed they did drugs in Brazil but had no clue how the drugs ended up in their baggage.
In a statement, Delta Air Lines said,
“Delta continually cooperates with law enforcement entities and the two off-duty flight attendants in question have been suspended pending outcome of an investigation.”
Flight attendant criminal activity
In April, an ex-United Airlines flight attendant, a Brazilian, pleaded guilty to identity theft. Ricardo César Guedes spent 20 years pretending to be William Ericson Ladd, but that ended this year. Guedes was born in São Paulo, Brazil and Eric Ladd died in a car crash at five years of age in 1979.
Through the theft of identity, he obtained a social security card, passport, job, loan, luxury car, and home, and even married and sponsored his husband’s United States residency. Guedes was arrested at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Texas, in September 2021 after holding an iPhone with a different name from his document.
Photo: Lukas Souza | Simple Flying
Ricardo immediately pleaded guilty to making false statements on his passport application and impersonating a United States citizen. Guedes was sentenced to jail time of more than one year, a year of supervised release, and potential deportation.
United States District Court Judge George C Hanks Jr. oversaw the hearing and truly believed that Guedes regretted his actions and thought Guedes had the best intentions and wanted to fulfill a dream.
In addition to his time in prison, Guedes was ordered to receive mental health treatment and take any medications prescribed by doctors. Though the punishment may have seemed like a slap on the wrist, a lack of a criminal record and a stable work history worked in favor of the defendant.
Delta Air Lines
IATA/ICAO Code: DL/DAL
Airline Type: Full Service Carrier
Hub(s): Boston Logan International Airport, Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Los Angeles International Airport, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, New York JFK Airport, LaGuardia Airport, Salt Lake City International Airport, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
Year Founded: 1929
CEO: Ed Bastian
Country: United States