O'Hare International Airport cargo manager accused of trying to smuggle cocaine
By Jason Meisner
June 27, 2013
A longtime manager for a cargo and ground-service company at O’Hare International Airport was arrested on charges he tried to smuggle a shipment of cocaine off a flight from Mexico for a drug dealer who was actually a government informant.
Hugo Herrera-Ruano, 42, of Northlake, was charged in a federal criminal complaint unsealed Thursday with one count of attempting to possess and distribute 10 kilograms of cocaine. He appeared briefly before U.S. Magistrate Maria Valdez, who ordered him held pending a detention hearing on Tuesday.
The arrest was part of a larger investigation into the importation of wholesale quantities of narcotics arriving at O’Hare on international flights from Mexico and other countries, according to the criminal complaint.
In April 2007, authorities seized a shipment of more than 300 kilograms of cocaine hidden on a flight from Mexico, according to the complaint. That shipment was due to be offloaded and stored at a warehouse owned by Swissport Services, where Herrera-Ruano was a night manager, the complaint alleged.
Last year, an undercover informant for the Department of Homeland Security began working at Swissport for Herrera-Ruano, according to the complaint. The informant told agents in March that Herrera-Ruano had bragged to him about working with drug cartels in the past, and offered to help the informant smuggle drugs of his own through the airport for a $1,000 fee.
Federal authorities had the informant go to Herrera-Ruano with a plan to smuggle a 10-kilo shipment of cocaine purportedly coming in on an AeroMexico flight on April 26. Over the next several weeks, Herrera-Ruano was captured on a wire worn by the informant talking about his surveillance of airport security and ways to get around customs agents and drug-sniffing dogs, according to the charges.
“I’ve been watching these bastards for years to see what the hell can be done,” Herrera-Ruano was quoted in the charges as telling the informant in Spanish. “…The pigs are always out there.”
The night of the shipment, Herrera-Ruano helped the informant load a box containing 10 kilos of “sham cocaine” provided by federal authorities into the informant’s truck, according to the charges. The two met later that day at a restaurant in Des Plaines, where the informant paid Herrera-Ruano $5,000 for the job and told him there would be more drug shipments in the future.
“Yes, keep it coming,” the complaint quoted Herrera as saying.
Re: O'Hare International Airport cargo manager accused of trying to smuggle cocaine
I don't really get the setup / fake busts reminds me of that guy a few months back that was busted "agreeing to smuggle fake cocaine" for an fbi / dea agent ......seems like a waste of effort / money while their dicking around with this guy & "sham cocaine" there were probably multiple 100 lb loads landing right behind their backs.....also don't you think the cartels develop these relationships over long periods of time (i doubt they just go for it because some employee was bragging ......