Investigations: Eastern's Belly Full of Cocaine

Eastern's Belly Full of Cocaine

Because of its 13 daily flights to Latin America, Eastern Air Lines has unwillingly become a carrier of choice for cocaine cowboys. Since November 1983 federal agents have discovered 26 cases of coke-smuggling aboard Eastern jets. Last week a top Drug Enforcement Administration official revealed that indictments are in the works against some 50 of Eastern's baggage handlers in Miami. The agency suspects them of smuggling billions of dollars' worth of cocaine into the U.S. in airliner cargo bellies.

The spotlight on Eastern intensified in April 1984, when U.S. Customs Service agents seized one of the company's jumbo jets after discovering...

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