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October 31, 2014

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3 charged with Las Vegas-to-Alaska drug conspiracy

A Las Vegas airport employee and two other men are accused of conspiring to sneak pounds of cocaine in carry-on bags onto commercial flights to Alaska, according to a federal indictment.

Federal prosecutors said 47-year-old Daren Cole, 37-year-old Dewane Blue and 36-year-old Bryan Bledsoe were indicted last week. Bledsoe worked for US Airways, according to the Clark County Department of Aviation.

All three face a count of drug conspiracy and Cole faces an additional count of attempted possession with intent to distribute.

According to the indictment out of Alaska, between about March 2012 and June 6, the men conspired to distribute at least 11 pounds of cocaine.

The indictment alleges the following:

Blue would obtain cocaine and provide it to Bledsoe, who would use his employee credentials to get the drugs into McCarran International Airport without passing through security.

Bledsoe would then give the drugs back to Blue and others after they went through security screening.

Once past security, the drugs would be passed to Cole and others, who would board commercial flights to Alaska and elsewhere with the drugs in their carry-on baggage.

On or about June 1, Bledsoe carried about 22 pounds of cocaine past security and handed it off to Blue in an airport bathroom. Blue then met up with Cole, who put the cocaine into his carry-on bag and planned to distribute it in Alaska.

Cole was arrested June 1 with the cocaine, prosecutors said. Bledsoe was arrested Tuesday and Blue today.

Cole and others used the U.S. mail and parcel services to send cash from Alaksa to Blue and other conspirators, according to the indictment, which outlines shipments of packages containing more than $414,000.

If the defendants are convicted, the indictment seeks the forfeiture of the $414,000 cash, a 2007 Cadillac Escalade, a 2006 BMW and a 2010 Mercedes-Benz.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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