On November 15, 2022, two Delta Air Lines flight attendants were arrested in Miami on suspicion of trafficking drugs.
Off-duty flight attendants Marcelo Chaves and Ronald Maldonado took an American Airlines (A1G) (AAL) trip from Brazil to Miami when they were chosen at random by Customs and Border Protection for a check (CBP).
Upon inspection, it was discovered that Chaves and Maldonado were carrying 260 grams of GBL, a GHB replacement, methamphetamine, and ketamine. Two glass cosmetic bottles and a clear plastic bottle held the chemicals. The two flight attendants were charged with drug trafficking because of the quantity and packing, which was sufficient in the eyes of the authorities.
According to local media, Chaves and Maldonado, who are also in a relationship, admitted to drug use in Brazil but said they had no idea how the substances ended up in their personal luggage.
“CBP officers at Miami airport arrested (2) US Citizens after they arrived on a flight from Brazil for possession and transportation of narcotics,” Robert Brisley of CBP told Local News 10.
Brisley further said: “State Attorney’s office accepted prosecution and both subjects were turned over to Miami Dade PD at MIA Airport. This incident remains under investigation.”
Delta Air Lines released a statement seen by local media, which read: “Delta continually cooperates with law enforcement entities and the two off-duty flight attendants in question have been suspended pending the outcome of an investigation.”
Chaves, who has spent the last 12 years residing in New York and New Jersey, is currently being detained under a $115,000 bond. The defendant must provide a reliable source of funds for the bond because he was also ordered by the court to appear at a Nebbia hearing.