Two Air Marshals Plead Guilty to Smuggling

HOUSTON (AP) - Two U.S. air marshals pleaded guilty to accepting money to smuggle cocaine on a flight to Las Vegas and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors.

The marshals admitted Monday they accepted $15,000 to use their positions as air marshals to bypass airport security and smuggle 15 pounds of cocaine.

Shawn Ray Nguyen's attorney, Kent Schaffer, said his client pleaded guilty because "he felt that the best way to ... demonstrate his repentance about his conduct was to take a guilty plea as early as possible."

George Parnham, an attorney for Burlie Sholar III, said the plea was the best alternative. "We want to save ourselves as much of his future as we can," he said.

Homeland Security spokesman David Adams said that Sholar and Nguyen remained on indefinite suspension without pay.

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