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U.S. charges five Boston airline employees with smuggling cash

BOSTON (Reuters) - Federal prosecutors in Boston on Thursday charged five U.S. airline employees with agreeing to use their security passes to smuggle $417,000 in cash that the employees believed to be the proceeds of illegal drug sales through the city's airport.

Employees of JetBlue Airways Corp and Delta Air Lines Inc agreed to work with a foreign national who was cooperating with federal investigators. The witness had a prior drug arrest.

From August 2012 through February 2014, the airline employees met the witness in airport bathrooms and carried cash through security checkpoints at Boston's Logan International Airport, prosecutors said.

They carried the cash onto flights bound to Florida, prosecutors said.

The five defendants are Rupert Crossley, 25, Alvin Leacock, 27, Eric Vick, 24, Anthony Trotman, 24, and Dino Dunkley, 31. Each faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

"Security at our nation's airports is paramount and the conduct alleged today is alarming," U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts Carmen Ortiz said in a statement. 

"A potentially dangerous breach in security was identified."

Neither the defendants nor their attorneys could be reached for comment.

(Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Dan Grebler)

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