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Three indicted in McCarran drug smuggling operation

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Updated: 8/27/2014 10:01 pm
LAS VEGAS (KSNV – Two of three men accused in a drug smuggling operation at McCarran International Airport will be in federal court this afternoon.

Dewane Blue and Bryan Bledsoe will appear before Judge George Foley. Daren Cole, the other defendant, is in custody in Anchorage. They face counts of drug conspiracy and attempted possession with intent to distribute.

According to the indictment, filed Aug. 21 in Alaska, Blue and others obtained controlled substances for distribution to Alaska and other states. Bledsoe, an employee at McCarran, would use his access to bring drugs into the airport without passing through security, then give them to Blue, who had already gone through security.

Blue would then transfer the substances to Cole and other passengers. This activity occurred between March 2012 and June.

The courts also are looking to seize property from the defendants, including more than $414,000 and three vehicles.

Rosemary A. Vassiliadis, Clark County aviation director, released this statement this afternoon:

"Clark County Department of Aviation staff members assisted numerous law enforcement agencies in their efforts to arrest three suspected drug traffickers who recently attempted to ship approximately 10 kilograms of cocaine to Alaska by way of McCarran International Airport.

"In late May 2014, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) informed airport management that DEA agents possessed information related to a suspected drug transfer scheduled to occur at McCarran. The airport’s security division immediately provided assistance to DEA agents that led to an arrest in early June.

"The investigation also revealed that a single US Airways employee, Bryan Melvin Bledsoe, 36, of Las Vegas, Nev., was suspected of involvement in the June drug movement. At the DEA’s direction, Bledsoe was allowed to continue working for US Airways while his movements were monitored by law enforcement, with assistance from McCarran’s security division.

"After additional evidence had been gathered, DEA agents arrested Bledsoe in Las Vegas yesterday evening; Bledsoe has no further access to airport workplaces. A third suspect was arrested elsewhere in Las Vegas earlier today.

"Airport security is a multilayered process, utilizing local, national and international resources to identify and deter potential criminal activity. Numerous law enforcement agencies took part in this collaborative investigation, and the Department of Aviation applauds their efforts."

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