22 charged with flying cocaine from California to Pennsylvania

Prosecutors say California group moved drugs by bypassing airport security


Joe Mandak
September 23, 2010 1:46AM (UTC)

Twenty-two people have been charged with conspiring for a decade to fly cocaine from California to Pittsburgh while bypassing airport security measures.

The indictment was returned in June but revealed by federal prosecutors Wednesday. It charges 17 people from California, four from Pennsylvania and one from Maryland.

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Prosecutors say Tracy, Calif., resident Timothy White was a primary source of the cocaine. They say Stockton, Calif., resident Ruben Mitchell lost track of more than 40 pounds of cocaine in a misdirected piece of luggage during a flight last year.

They haven't said whether the lost bag led them to uncover the operation.

White and Mitchell remain in custody. Fifteen others have been arrested. Five remain at large.

Mitchell's defense attorney hasn't returned a call seeking comment. White fired his attorney.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Twenty-two people have been charged with conspiring for a decade to fly cocaine from California to Pittsburgh while bypassing airport security measures.

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The indictment was returned in June but revealed by federal prosecutors Wednesday. It charges 17 people from California, four from Pennsylvania and one from Maryland.

Prosecutors say Tracy, Calif., resident Timothy White was a primary source of the cocaine. They say Stockton, Calif., resident Ruben Mitchell lost track of more than 40 pounds of cocaine in a misdirected piece of luggage during a flight last year.

They haven't said whether the lost bag led them to uncover the operation.

White and Mitchell remain in custody. Fifteen others have been arrested. Five remain at large.

Mitchell's defense attorney hasn't returned a call seeking comment. White fired his attorney.

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Joe Mandak

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