A 52-year-old American Airlines Mechanic Paul Belloisi, of Hicksville, NY (ON Long Island), is being charged in a Drug Smuggling ring uncovered by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents earlier this year.
Belloisi had been working for the Airline for 30 years and maintained a clean record the entire time. His attorney asserts that the charges are a stretch and that they may have the wrong guy.
“If you ask me, the government has very little evidence to support their contentions in the indictment,” “... He’s got a spotless record, no prior criminal history and he was performing his official duties when they set up a sting operation.”
Belloisi pleaded not guilty over teleconference yesterday in federal court.
The charges stem from a sting op set up in early February after authorities discovered 10 bricks of cocaine in an electrical panel under an airplane. The Border Patrol Agents replaced the bricks with fake ones, sprayed them with a substance that illuminates under a black light, planted a tripwire that would alert them to any movement in the compartment and waited for the package to be picked up. Hours later, as passengers began to board the flight from JFK to Jamaica, Belloisi set out on his little airport cart thing that zips around on three wheels... you know what I'm talking about? That little box thing that with no roof or windshield and probably sucks to drive in the rain...that thing. Anyway, Belloisi maintains that he set out to do routine maintenance and had nothing to do with the cocaine getting there. When Agents shined the blacklight on him, he lit up like a fucking Christmas Tree and a subsequent search revealed the liners of Belloisi's jacket had been cut and stuffed with the fake bricks along with his tool bag being completely empty.
Belloisi is out on a $300K bond but faces a life sentence if convicted.
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