Two off-duty Delta Air Lines flight attendants were arrested at Miami International Airport on Tuesday on suspicion of drugs trafficking after U.S. Customs and Border Protection found drugs hidden in glass cosmetic bottles in their luggage, according to a Miami-Dade arrest report.
New Yorker Marcelo Chaves, 44, and his boyfriend Ronald Maldonado, 35, both face drug trafficking charges after they were subjected to a random CBP enforcement check shortly after arriving on an American Airlines flight from Brazil earlier this week.
An arrest report filed by the CBP alleges that various narcotics were found on the pair, including Ketamine, Methamphetamine and GBL which were found in two glass cosmetic bottles, as well as in a clear plastic bottle hidden in their luggage.
Chaves faces the more serious charges, and his arrest record indicates that 15 grams of Methamphetamine, around 260 grams of Ketamine and approximately 45 grams of GBL were found in his possession.
The quantities are enough to warrant a federal charge of drug trafficking.
Maldonado was initially arrested on suspicion of being in possession of 5 Methamphetamine pills.
“CBP officers at Miami airport arrested (2) US Citizens after they arrived on a flight from Brazil for possession and transportation of narcotics. State Attorney’s office accepted prosecution, and both subjects were turned over to Miami Dade PD at MIA Airport,” a CPB spokesperson told Local 10 News.
“This incident remains under investigation,” the statement continued.
The pair reportedly told investigators that they “were doing drugs” while in Brazil but denied any knowledge of how the drugs got in their luggage.
In a statement, Delta confirmed that Chaves and Maldonado had been suspended and said the airline was working with law enforcement.
Chaves has been held on a $115,000 bond and must attend a so-called Nebbia hearing which will decide whether the money he intends to post to make bail has been obtained illegally.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.