ST. LOUIS – As many of us relax for the Thanksgiving holiday, the men and women of the St. Louis DEA are working hard. They secured a major airport bust Tuesday thanks to great collaboration and canine help.
Busy airport times and holiday travel provide more cover for those trying to traffic drugs to St. Louis. But the DEA of St. Louis made a major bust at St. Louis-Lambert International Airport Monday.
“In this instance, we developed information on two individuals who had some last-minute travel to St. Louis,” said Special Agent in Charge Bill Callahan, DEA.
Anthony Duncan and Tryell Harris booked flights from San Francisco to St. Louis four hours before the flight and each checked one bag. They were flagged. Duncan’s criminal history revealed past charges of narcotics distribution. Harris had no noticeable record.
When they arrived in St. Louis, DEA agents went to work.
“Our agents identified the travelers and the bags they were traveling with through investigative means, we identified the bags may contain narcotics,” Callahan said.
Before the suitcases hit the baggage claim, K-9 officer Ace picked up narcotics in the suitcases.
“They're trained well and pick up series of different drugs they're trained on,” Callahan said. “We have great appreciation for what they can pick up.”
Agents asked Duncan if they could search his bag and he consented. They found a large number of methamphetamines, much larger than the federal threshold of 500 grams.
Agents later found Harris standing in a different area of the airport wearing a military uniform. It’s not known yet if he is actually enlisted.
“It wouldn’t surprise me as much as disappoint me that someone would use the cover of our service people to transport drugs,” Callahan said.
Callahan said his men and women work very hard and having lots of success in intercepting drugs but that the Mexican cartel is hitting our area very hard.