Three American Airlines flight attendants were found with $22,671 in cash when they went through a routine Customs check at Miami International Airport, Customs and Border Protection agents say.
CBP agents say those three fingered a fourth American Airlines flight attendant as the on-site director of the operation.
None of the four declared the cash, according to arrest reports. So, Carlos Alberto Munoz-Moyano, 40; Miaria Delpilar Roman-Strick, 55; Maria Isabel Wilson-Ossandon, 48; and Maria Beatriz Pasten-Cuzmar, 55, each faces charges of money laundering and unauthorized money transmitting between $300 and $20,000.
Each of the four residents of Santiago, Chile, remains in Miami-Dade County jail with a $10,000 bond and a hold for immigration.
Also, the reports claim the flight attendants said their pay for the cash smuggling was one percent of what they carried. If true, that works out to Munoz-Moyano risking jail for $90, Roman-Strick only getting $73 and Wilson-Ossandon doing the crime for only $63.71. That’s less than the $67.68 gross pay for an eight-hour shift at McDonald’s at Florida minimum wage.
After arriving at MIA on American 912 from Chile, Munoz-Moyano was put through a routine check conducted by a CBP agent early morning Monday, an arrest report said.
Munoz-Moyano told the agent that he only had $100 on him, but the agent found $9,000, the report said.
This caused other flight attendants to be be stopped and checked.
Arrest reports say agents found Roman-Strick with $7,300 and Wilson-Ossandon with $6,371.
The arrest report didn’t say Pasten-Cuzmar carried any cash. It did say the other three cast Pasten-Cuzmar as the one who “directed them to transport U.S. currency into the United States and deliver it to a known person.”
American Airlines told the Miami Herald, “We take this matter seriously and are cooperating with law enforcement throughout their investigation.”