Authorities say that security screeners and airport workers helped smuggle 20 tons of cocaine through Puerto Rico during an 18-year operation that ended only last year.
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Federal officials said Monday that smugglers repeatedly got suitcases full of cocaine through the Transportation Security Administration system at Luis Munoz Marin International Airport in San Juan.
Twelve defendants, including six current and former TSA screeners, were indicted by a grand jury in Puerto Rico.
Authorities said an airport bag handler picked up suitcases containing cocaine from smugglers at the check-in counter and put them through X-ray machines staffed by cooperative TSA workers.