Ex-baggage handler sentenced for Oakland drug smuggling

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FILE – This Feb. 17, 2016 file photo shows marijuana plants at a home in Honolulu. Hawaii is among the bluest of states, but when it comes to legalizing marijuana, it is out of step with liberal stalwarts such as California and Vermont. A bill that would legalize marijuana in the islands faces significant obstacles […]

A former Southwest Airlines baggage handler has been sentenced for smuggling marijuana through Oakland International Airport.

A federal judge sentenced 38-year-old Keith Mayfield to 2 ½ years in prison Wednesday for entering an airport in violation of security requirements and for conspiracy to distribute drugs and launder money.

Mayfield, who pleaded guilty last year, acknowledged that he helped smuggle drugs at the airport on at least 40 occasions, managing to get luggage containing at least 250 kilograms (551 pounds) of pot to passengers who’d cleared security checkpoints.

Mayfield also acknowledged sending at least 100 kilograms (220 pounds) of marijuana in Southwest Airlines cargo shipments to airports around the country.

He also acknowledged helping launder at least $50,000 in drug trafficking money.

He’s one of 11 people sentenced in the scheme.

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