Two employees of the Transportation Security Administration and a Delta Air Lines employee assigned to Atlanta's airport were indicted Tuesday on charges related to an alleged drug-smuggling operation at the airport, federal officials said Tuesday.

Leslie Adgar, 42, of Decatur, Andre Mays, 24, of Atlanta and Jon Patton, 44, of Lawrenceville were taken into custody and made their initial appearance before a U.S. magistrate, U.S. Attorney David E. Nahmias said.

Nahmias said Patton and Mays worke for the TSA at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, where Adgar is based with Delta.

A confidential source working for the Drug Enforcement Administration arranged in December to smuggle two kilograms of cocaine to New York in luggage carried past security in Atlanta and onto a Delta flight in exchange for $8,000, the prosecutor said.

Two subsequent arrangements were made in January and on Friday involving shipments of fake cocaine or heroin from Atlanta to New York, Nahmias said.

A federal grand jury charged Patton and Adgar with conspiring to distribute narcotics and attempting to distribute cocaine and heroin on the three dates drugs were smuggled. Mays was charged with the drug conspiracy and attempting to distribute cocaine on Dec. 19.

Bruce Harvey, a defense attorney in the case, said he had not had a chance to see the paperwork until Tuesday. "Nobody has had a chance to review this case yet," he said.

He said the main object of the defense on Tuesday was to get the defendants released and home to their families. The court granted bond, which ranged from $20,000 to $25,000 per defendant, and the defendants were immediately released.

The charges carry a maximum sentence of life in prison and a fine of up to $4 million.