Both the FBI and the drug dealers were wise to a scheme where two airline employees were allegedly stealing mass amounts of marijuana from San Francisco airport passengers’ luggage and selling it themselves.  

Even though adult-use cannabis is legal in California now, there are still plenty of illegal marijuana farms across the state. And the underground racket has adjusted to legalization, in many cases shipping and smuggling the weed to other states where cannabis is not legal, because it fetches a much higher price there. And passengers are apparently flying either to or from San Francisco International Airport with amounts of marijuana large enough to “fill 15-20 gallon bags.”

We know this because two people were just arrested for doing exactly that. Except they weren’t passengers, they were United Airlines employees who stole the marijuana from people’s checked luggage, according to the Bay Area News Group. The suspects Joel Lamont Dunn and Adrian Webb now both face federal charges of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance.

While the report notes that the two are both cargo agent employees for United Airlines, it’s not noted whether they both work at SFO. But the report does state that they were both robbed at gunpoint and relieved of several trash bags full of pot in June 2021 in the SFO employee parking lot. So that tells you someone in the illegal cannabis racket knew what they were up to.

The FBI arrested one of their unnamed co-conspirators who was transporting a reported 30 pounds of cannabis in the same parking lot in October 2022, and no other airports are named in the report.

The scheme apparently started in 2020, according to Bay Area New Group, and the cargo workers reportedly stole cannabis “in such large amounts they were regularly able to fill 15-20 gallon bags.” And the FBI alleges that the suspected ringleader Dunn paid his co-conspirators $2,000 to $10,000 each week, depending on how much stolen marijuana they could procure from people’s luggage. Yes, this all seems quite brazen. But it also makes one wonder… if these two and another co-conspirator were able to steal that much weed, just how much illegal marijuana is being smuggled in and out of SFO every day?

Dunn and Webb are both out of jail on bonds of $75,000 and $50,000. Their trail date and further hearings are no yet set.

Related: Thieves Overwhelm Security Guard at Potrero Cannabis Dispensary, Steal Weed [SFist]

Image: Richard T via Unsplash