Lost Luggage Mishap Helps Sink Drug Ring

Travel Blog  •  Eva Holland  •  09.23.10 | 3:50 PM ET

Twenty-two people have been charged with conspiring to shift cocaine from California to Pennsylvania by domestic air carrier—and it looks like a misdirected luggage incident may have helped bring them down. From the AP:

Ruben Mitchell, of Stockton, Calif., lost track of more than 40 pounds of cocaine in a misdirected piece of luggage during a Pittsburgh-bound Southwest Airlines Inc. flight last year, prosecutors said.

Mitchell had the drugs in a carry-on bag when he boarded the flight on Feb. 19, 2009, but a flight attendant put the bag in the plane’s cargo hold because it wouldn’t fit in an overhead luggage compartment, they said. The bag then was mistakenly unloaded during a layover in Las Vegas, and Mitchell later filed a lost-baggage claim for it after arriving in Pittsburgh, they said.

What’s next? Bank robbers’ getaway foiled by tarmac stranding? Counterfeiters snared by $7 blanket fee?


Eva Holland is co-editor of World Hum. She is a former associate editor at Up Here and Up Here Business magazines, and a contributor to Vela. She's based in Canada's Yukon territory.


3 Comments for Lost Luggage Mishap Helps Sink Drug Ring

Mona Rana 09.24.10 | 2:58 AM ET

Its a bit strange that they should try to move it through domestic air. Might suggest that they have been hugely successful using the easy ways… A bit surprising.

vagobond 09.24.10 | 6:05 AM ET

Its a bit amusing, seeing how they could afford to move drugs via domestic carriers. Anyway, its good they have been caught. Do you want to do a guest post at my site vagobond.com? My readers would be informed by posts like these. http://www.vagobond.com

Latoya 09.26.10 | 10:55 PM ET

Domestic air through hand luggage… this draws the obvious question is how secure is security at airports? This incident tells us that people are still going through security and not getting caught and the only reason why this guys was caught was due to mishandling of his luggage.

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