Thursday, December 22, 2016

Airline pilot admits smuggling $195,000 in cash, feds say



NEWARK -- A commercial airline pilot previously designated as "low-risk" under a U.S. Customs and Border Protection program admitted in federal court Thursday to smuggling more than $195,000 in cash into the United States.

Anthony Warner, 55, pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court in Newark to a charge of bulk cash smuggling under an agreement with prosecutors, according the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Prosecutors say Warner, of Dallas, Texas, was a participant in Global Entry, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection program intended to speed up the process of entry into the country for low-risk, pre-approved travelers.

But the Global Entry terminal at Newark International Airport wasn't functioning when he arrived on Jan. 10, according to prosecutors, so Warner instead presented his customs declaration to a CBP officer.

Inside a laptop bag, customs officers found $195,736 in U.S. bills wrapped in newspaper, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Prosecutors say Warner, who was arrested by agents from Homeland Security Investigations, also had 10 rings, four sets of earrings and various jewelry of undetermined value.

Authorities say the drug-dealing outfit, run out of a laundromat, distributed between 330 and 992 pounds of cocaine.

Warner, who is scheduled to be sentenced on April 18, 2017, faces up to five years in federal prison and forfeiture of the seized property, according to prosecutors.

The U.S. Attorney's Office, whose narcotics units prosecuted the case, did not identify the origin of the seized funds.

Story and comments: http://www.nj.com

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