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Guardsmen charged with smuggling Ecstasy on C-5

4/14/2005 - SAN ANTONIO (AFPN) -- Two Airmen from the New York Air National Guard's 105th Airlift Wing have been charged with importing narcotics from Germany to the United States after being arrested April 12 on federal narcotics charges, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney's office for the southern district of New York.

Capt. Franklin Rodriguez, a C-5 Galaxy pilot, and Master Sgt. John Fong, a C-5 loadmaster, were found with 28 large bags officials believed to contain about 290,000 pills of Ecstasy in their luggage upon return from an overseas mission April 12.

The Airmen are charged with one count of conspiracy to import Ecstasy into the United States and one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute Ecstasy.

"Ecstasy is an extremely harmful drug that is abused mainly by teenagers and young adults," said John Gilbride, special agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration's New York field division. Federal law enforcement agents arrested the Airmen shortly after their aircraft landed at Stewart Air National Guard Base.

If convicted, the Airmen face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison on each count and a $1 million fine on each count. (Information compiled from U.S. Attorney press release)

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