Two Delta Air Lines flight attendants were arrested in Miami on November 15, 2022 on suspicion of drug trafficking.
Off-duty flight attendants Marcelo Chaves and Ronald Maldonado arrived in Miami from Brazil via an American Airlines (A1G) (AAL) flight when the pair was pulled for a random check by the Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
The inspection revealed that Chaves and Maldonado were carrying 260 grams of Ketamine, Methamphetamine and GBL, a GHB substitute. The substances were contained in two glass cosmetic bottles and a clear plastic bottle. The quantity and the packaging were enough for officials to charge the two flight attendants with drug trafficking charges.
Local media reported that Chaves and Maldonado, who are also in a relationship, told investigators that they were doing drugs in Brazil, but that they did not know how the drugs got into their personal luggage.
“CBP officers at Miami airport arrested (2) US Citizens after they arrived on a flight from Brazil for possession and transportation of narcotics,” Robert Brisley of CBP told Local News 10.
Brisley further said: “State Attorney’s office accepted prosecution and both subjects were turned over to Miami Dade PD at MIA Airport. This incident remains under investigation.”
Delta Air Lines released a statement seen by local media, which read: “Delta continually cooperates with law enforcement entities and the two off-duty flight attendants in question have been suspended pending the outcome of an investigation.”
Chaves, who has been living in New York and New Jersey for the last 12 years, is currently being held on a $115,000 bond. He was also court-ordered to attend a Nebbia hearing, which means the defendant has to prove a legitimate source of funds for the bond.