Airport employee arrested on federal drug conspiracy charges

MILWAUKEE -- A federal grand jury indicts 44-year-old Amilcar Zapata of Milwaukee for conspiracy to distribute heroin. Zapata was arrested at Mitchell International Airport where he was an employee for the last 21 years.

According to court papers, Zapata brought backpacks full of U.S. money into the airport. He used his position to by-pass security and deliver the money to couriers hired by the Spanish Cobras street gang. The deliveries would take place in restrooms after the couriers had gone through the security screening process. The money was then taken by couriers out of the country.

Special Agents from the FBI, the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office, members of the Milwaukee High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area gang task force took part in the arrest of Zapata.

If convicted, Zapata faces up to 40 years in prison plus a $5 million fine.