Baggage handler gets life in prison for smuggling drugs

4 hrs.

A former American Airlines baggage handler has been given life in prison for his role in a drug-smuggling ring operating through John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Victor Bourne received the sentence Tuesday in federal court in Brooklyn. Bourne was found guilty last year of charges he used his behind-the-scenes access at New York City’s busiest airport to orchestrate the smuggling of more than 330 pounds of cocaine from 2000 and 2009.

Prosecutors accused the 37-year-old native of Barbados of helping recruit and organize a crew of corrupt airport employees.

Authorities say Bourne made millions of dollars in drug proceeds he laundered through business ventures in Brooklyn and Barbados.

The sentencing capped a federal investigation that has resulted in the convictions of 20 people, 19 of them airlines employees.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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