An airline employee at Palm Beach International Airport is facing federal charges after agents said he was caught with more than $282,000 in cash stuffed inside a backpack he was instructed to deliver to a passenger in an airport restroom.
Jean Yves Selius, 26, of Boynton Beach, was arrested Saturday on allegations he illegally transmitted money.
Selius, a Delta Air Lines ramp agent, told agents that Saturday was the fifth time he was paid to smuggle money into the airport and he knew the cash did not "come from a good cause," agents wrote.
He was stopped and questioned after he bypassed security checkpoints and used his employee badge to enter a secure part of the airport from the outside ramps, according to federal agents from Homeland Security Investigations and Customs and Border Protection.
"Selius then voluntarily unzipped his own bag and pulled it open, revealing large packets of cash wrapped in clear, vacuum-sealed bundles," agents wrote in court records.
Under questioning, Selius told agents he was being paid between $900 and $1,000 to give the backpack to "an unknown person in a bathroom" in an area of the airport accessible to workers and passengers who have been cleared by the Transportation Security Administration.
Selius said he was told to give the money to a man he thought was a passenger on a flight to New York's LaGuardia Airport later that morning.
He also told agents that two men, he knew only by first names, approached him when they found out he worked at the airport and had been paying him to make such drop-offs for about a year.
He said he received a total of $3,900 in payment from the men. He picked up the backpack filled with cash at a different, unidentified location and was told where to deliver it.
Selius told agents he thought he was carrying about $100,000, but agents said they counted $282,400.
A law enforcement drug-detection dog that was summoned to inspect the backpack indicated the money had been in contact with drugs, authorities said.
Selius made a brief appearance Monday in federal court in West Palm Beach and will remain locked up at least until a court hearing later this week, according to court records.
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