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Boeing Drug Bust By Teresa Cajot Following a four year stealth investigation, federal agents arrested more than three dozen current and former Boeing employees last week on drug charges. The Ridley Park, Pennsylvania plant was the focus of an ongoing investigation which resulted in charges against 23 individuals for the sale of prescription painkillers and anti-anxiety medications and against another 14 who were either in possession of drugs or attempted to purchase drugs.

“This investigation and prosecution focused not only on the sellers, but also on the users because of the critical role that these employees play in manufacturing military aircraft,” said US Attorney Zane David Memeger. The Boeing plant is responsible for producing the V-22 Osprey vertical take-off aircraft and the H-47 Chinook helicopter, both of which are used in military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. According to Daniel Mills, a Boeing spokesman, the company took all necessary precautions to ensure the safety and quality of the aircraft. Mills said that employees who were suspected of having any connection to the drug activity were closely monitored and never placed in a position that could put the aircraft in jeopardy. All employees who were charged in the case have been suspended by Boeing. The investigation was initially launched in 2006, after Boeing employees alerted management of illegal drug activity through the company’s internal ethics hotline. After conducting an


internal investigation, Boeing asked for federal involvement in 2007 and during the extended undercover investigation that ensued, Boeing factory workers were called upon to assist the FBI. The investigation culminated on Thursday when charges were brought against those who allegedly purchased placebo drugs from, or sold drugs to, the FBI-collaborators. According to investigators, although the drugs were purchased and sold on Boeing property, there is no evidence of an organized drug ring. The investigation revealed the presence of oxycontin, fentanyl, suboxone, and Xanax within the plant. Those convicted of distributing drugs could face anywhere from 10-260 years in prison, as well as additional fines. The company has issued a statement praising the US Attorney’s Office and other federal law enforcement agencies for conducting a detailed and efficient investigation.

Boeing Drug Bust