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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Aug. 26, 1999)
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Airline employees arrested
■ A two-year investigation
of a narcotics and weapons
smuggling ring leads to
dozens of arrests.
MIAMI (AP) - Dozens of
American Airlines employees and con
tract workers were arrested Wednesday
in a federal investigation into a drug ring
that authorities said used the airline’s
planes to smuggle drugs into the United
Undercover agents from the Bureau
of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms also
approached suspects about shipping
guns and military-style explosives in the
“What they had was a very elabo
rate scheme for aiding in the distribu
tion of narcotics and weapons,” said
AFT spokesman Ed Halley. “Fora price
these individuals would bypass security
and deliver anything that was paid for to
a person that was paying for it.”
The investigation began two years
ago after law enforcement officials
became aware that “multiple contra
band” was being taken into secure areas
of Miami International Airport, U.S.
Attorney Thomas Scott said.
“These people did these acts inten
tionally knowing there were narcotics
and that they were paid for,” Scott said
Wednesday. “There is no issue of
Fifty-eight people were named in
multiple indictments resulting from
Operation Sky Chef and Operation
Ramp Rat, including 30 American
employees, Scott said. Also charged
were employees of LSG/Sky Chefs, a
food service contractor owned by
Charges included conspiracy,
importation and distribution of drugs,
and weapons offenses.
By early Wednesday afternoon, at
least 48 people had been arrested at their
homes and a few at the airport.
The drugs, which included bogus
cocaine and marijuana supplied by
agents, were smuggled to points includ
ing Philadelphia and San Juan, Puerto
Rico, in airline food carts, garbage bags
and backpacks by uniformed workers
who eluded metal detectors and airport
“In the minds of these violators they
were transporting the real thing,” Halley
said. “Greed is the bottom line there.
They did it all for a price.”
The people indicted were mainly
ramp workers and baggage handlers,
agents said. Two U.S. Immigration and
Naturalization agents were arrested, and
a Broward Sheriff’s Office deputy who
worked part time as a baggage handler
was indicted, said Brent Eaton, a federal
Drug Enforcement Administration
No one in management was arrest
ed, and no American pilots or flight
attendants were indicted, he said.
“Because it was an undercover
operation, it’s hard to judge, but they
were making lots of money doing this,
more than their salaries,” Eaton said.
American Airlines, the largest carri
er serving Latin America, issued a state
ment from its corporate headquarters in
Fort Worth, Texas, saying the company
has cooperated in the investigation.
The company was not expecting
any disruption of service, spokes
woman Martha Pantin said.
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THE DAILY NEBRASKAN
leaves man in
MARTIN, S.D. (AP) - A white
man was beaten, kicked in the head and
left with a rope around his neck on an
American Indian reservation. Three
American Indians were arrested.
The FBI and federal prosecutors
said it was too early to label the assault
a hate crime, though they’re not ruling
it out Relatives of the victim and one of
the suspects blamed alcohol, not race.
Brad Young, 21, was in critical con
dition Wednesday. He was found early
Saturday, about seven hours after the
incident at the Pine Ridge Indian
Louis Means and Byron
Bissonette, both 18, pleaded not guilty
Wednesday to federal charges of
assault resulting in serious bodily
injury. The charges are federal because
the crime happened on the reservation.
A 17-year-old juvenile was also taken
Local newspapers and television
reported that Sheriff Russel Waterbury
' said the crime was racially motivated.
However, he told a radio station he
had been misunderstood.
“I’ve got a lot of calls on that, and
that was my opinion, to do something
that horrible to somebody else,” he told
KWSN on Wednesday. “I didn’t mean
the actual hate crime crime, so I don’t
know where they come up with where I
was quoted as saying that. But that was
Waterbury did not return calls
Wednesday to The Associated Press.
According to Waterbury, Young
had been pulled around a field by the
rope around his neck, and was severely
cut and barely recognizable because he
had been kicked in the face by people
wearing steel-toe boots.
The sheriff said the three suspects
had been partying with Young the night
of the attack and Young had bought
Young’s mother, Carol Bucholz of
Lexington, Neb., said her son’s left ear
was almost torn off and his right ear
badly damaged. She said that he suf
fered head injuries but that there was no
sign of brain damage.
“They dragged him all over that
field and left him to die,” said LilaYork,
Young’s cousin. “It’s out of hateness.
Why else would anybody do that?”
The three had been drinking and
got into an argument, said Bissonette’s
uncle, Arthur Has No Horses, who said
he talked to his nephew.
LONDON (AP) - In 75 words
or less, why would you like to be in
the House of Lords?
That’s die question for heredi
tary members of the Lords before
an election this fall to select the
lucky few who will keep their seats.
To some, it smacks of a cereal
box competition. “I should remain a
lord because...,” read Wednesday’s
headline in The Times.
“The whole thing is ludicrous,”
says Lord Mancroft, a Conservative
peer. “What do I include - my
inside leg measurement?”
A Brief essay did not win Lord
Mancroft his seat in the Lords, the
upper house of Parliament. He’s
there because his grandfather,
Arthur Michael Samuel Mancroft,
was giveh a hereditary peerage in
1937 after long service in the House
The House of Lords has little
power. But it can amend bills from
the House of Commons, thereby
delaying legislation that otherwise
might sail through Parliament when
the governing party has a huge
majority - like Prime Minister Tony
Blair’s Labor Party.
Blair is determined to eliminate
all the 755 hereditary peers from the
House of Lords. That would leave
more than 500 other members of
the House - mostly life peers,
appointed as a reward for their
work, but also archbishops of the
Church of England.
There are hardly any Labor sup
porters among the sundry dukes,
marquesses, earls, countesses, vis
counts, barons, baronesses and
other bluebloods who inherited
The 471 Conservatives in the
Lords include 299 hereditary peers,
compared to 176 Labor members,
of whom just 18 inherited their
titles. The rest of the hereditary
peers are affiliated with other par
ties or sit independently.
The election is an interim step
that will allow the hereditary peers
to choose 92 of their number to
keep their seats for awhile.
Candidates must submit their
75 words by Oct. 21, to be pub
lished in the Lords Library. The
election date has yet to be set.
Lord Onslow, seventh in a line
going back to 1801, accepted the
75-word limit as a challenge.
“There is a great deal to be said
for brevity,” he said.
of Play girl
male dance revue
Sat. Aug. 28
$10 gen., $15 VIP
Doors at 8, Show at 9 pm
The Royal Grove
340 W. Comhusker Hwvj. 474-2332
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