Flight attendants arrested, accused of smuggling millions in drug money to Dominican Republic

Federal authorities have revealed that four flight attendants allegedly abused their privileges and smuggled millions of dollars of drug money from New York City to the Dominican Republic. These flight attendants exploited their access to the “Known Crewmember (KCM)” lane at JFK International Airport, which allowed them to bypass security quickly and without X-ray screening.

The suspects—Charlie Hernandez, Sarah Valerio Pujols, Emmanuel Torres, and Jarol Fabio—face charges related to unlicensed money transmission. They were arrested on Tuesday. Hernandez resides in West New York, New Jersey, while the other three defendants live in New York City. Prosecutors allege that they collectively smuggled around $8 million in bulk cash to the Dominican Republic.

According to authorities, the flight attendants took advantage of their status to transport illicit funds, including money derived from narcotics trafficking. One informant reportedly provided Hernandez with $121,215, a portion of which was given to Pujols for transportation to the Dominican Republic in December 2019. Torres and Fabio are accused of smuggling millions of dollars each over several years.

Delta Airlines confirmed that two of the defendants are its employees and stated that they have cooperated fully with law enforcement. Pujols is reportedly no longer in custody, with her attorney declining further comment. However, an attorney for Fabio could not be reached for comment, and no attorneys were listed for Hernandez and Torres in court records.

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