Four flight attendants charged with allegedly smuggling drug money out the US

Friends Stock /

Four flight attendants have been charged with allegedly smuggling drug money between the United States and the Dominican Republic.

According to the US Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York, the flight attendants have been charged in connection with their “years-long participation in smuggling narcotics trafficking proceeds from the United States to the Dominican Republic on commercial flights”.

The defendants, identified as Charlie Hernandez, 42; Sarah Valerio Pujols, 24; Emmanuel Torres, 34; and Jarol Fabio, 35, were arrested on May 7, 2024. 

The four have been accused of engaging in drug money smuggling activity from New York’s John F Kennedy Airport (JFK) to the Dominican Republic from 2015 to at least 2022. During those years, all of the defendants were employed as flight attendants with different international airlines that operated routes between New York City and the Dominican Republic.  

“As alleged, these flight attendants smuggled millions of dollars of drug money and law enforcement funds that they thought was drug money from the United States to the Dominican Republic over many years by abusing their privileges as airline employees,” US Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement

“Today’s charges should serve as a reminder to those who break the law by helping drug traffickers move their money that crime doesn’t pay,” Williams added. 

According to the official complaint, the flight attendants used their privileges as members of the Known Crewmember Program, which allows airline employees to go through a separate, expedited security lane before going to the terminals. 

Prosecutors alleged that the four have smuggled a total of around $8 million in bulk cash to the Dominican Republic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts


Stay updated on aviation and aerospace - subscribe to our newsletter!