Federal authorities have arrested two San Francisco International Airport security screeners and arraigned them today on charges of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and accepting an illegal bribe.
According to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, San Francisco resident Claudio Rene Sunux, 30, and South San Francisco resident Amanda Lopez, 27, were private contractors for the Transportation Security Administration working as security screeners.
They, along with Anibal Giovanni Ramirez, a 28-year-old San Francisco resident, coordinated an operation where Ramirez would smuggle multitudes of methamphetamine past security on several trips to Hawaii. According to the San Jose Mercury News, an Oakland Police Department confidential informant told the FBI that Ramirez had offered to smuggle drugs on commercial planes. FBI Special Agent Timothy Hughes wrote in an affidavit that on Sept. 2, the informant met with Ramirez in San Francisco in a car equipped with video and audio surveillance.
The morning of September 17, undercover agents provided Ramirez with luggage containing packages filled with 20 pounds of a common meth filler and a bag containing 68.5 grams of pure meth. Lopez allegedly overlooked the packages as they were smuggled through a security checkpoint, Sunux allegedly coordinated the operation logistics, according to U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag. The informant gave $5,000 to Ramirez, and another $1,500 to both Sunux and Lopez.
If convicted, they each could face a minimum mandatory sentence of 10 years in prison, a maximum sentence of life in prison, and fines totaling more than $10 million.
-Curt Cramer (@CurtisRemarc)