Delta Airlines Employees Charged With Smuggling Immigrants

A federal grand jury in the U.S. Virgin Islands has indicted two ticket agent contractors who worked for Delta Airlines and an airport employee on charges of conspiracy to smuggle illegal immigrants into the U.S.

The ticket agents, identified as Diana Telemaque, 33, and Felicia Browne, 22, were arrested Thursday along with luggage handler Daniel Confidente.

The U.S. Department of Justice said Friday in a statement that the two agents allegedly sold tickets to illegal immigrants. All three are accused of helping an unspecified number of migrants bypass customs officials from May 2008 to July 2009.

It was not immediately clear whether the suspects had lawyers.

Delta spokeswoman Susan Chana Elliott said the contract employees, who were paid by another company, had been dismissed.

She added that the airline is cooperating with federal authorities and declined further comment.

Hundreds of illegal migrants attempt to enter the U.S. Caribbean territory each year; some hope to stay on the island, while others try to enter the mainland.

The suspects were released on $10,000 bail and face up to 10 years in prison if convicted.