Newark Airport Baggage Handler Sentenced to 15 Years for Smuggling Cocaine

Dec. 14, 2020

A Newark Airport baggage handler who gave first-class treatment to suitcases full of cocaine was sentenced Friday to 15 years in prison.

Tyrone Woolaston, 35, smuggled the drugs arriving on international flights through the airport from 2013 to 2018. The coke was then distributed in the New York City area.

Authorities busted the baggage handler using an undercover source. The cooperator arranged for Woolaston to retrieve a suitcase full of five kilos of sham cocaine arriving from the Cayman Islands on Feb. 10, 2018.

Woolaston took the drugs through the airport and evaded customs. The following day Woolaston delivered the bogus coke to the source toting a .40 caliber Glock with a laser sight.

“Tyrone Woolaston used his position as a baggage handler at Newark Liberty Airport to smuggle cocaine into the United States. When law enforcement conducted an undercover operation to investigate, Woolaston delivered five kilos of what he believed to be cocaine carrying a semi-automatic pistol,” Acting Manhattan U.S Attorney Audrey Strauss said.

Woolaston was found guilty after a two-week trial last year.

His attorneys criticized Homeland Security Investigations agents for staging the sting, which featured “aggressive encouragement of wrongdoing.”


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