ATLANTA, Ga. — Channel 2 Action News has an exclusive look at evidence photos in the case against a federal officer accused of smuggling guns and cash. On Tuesday, a judge decided Customs and Border Protection officer Devon Samuels should remain in jail until his trial.
Another judge had first decided to release Samuels on bond with home monitoring, but prosecutors appealed and introduced some of their evidence. A second judge decided the officer was too much of a flight risk to let him out.
"He sold himself to the highest bidder, and he personally smuggled bulk cash out of the United States that was represented to him as drug proceeds," Special Agent David D'Amato of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement told Channel 2 Action News Investigative reporter Jodie Fleischer.
Exclusive Look At Evidence Photos Against Federal Agent
One evidence photo shows Samuels posing in his federal uniform with guns. Another shows him meeting with an alleged drug money launderer, who was really an undercover federal agent. That's when prosecutors say Samuels agreed to carry five guns and $20,000 in cash into the Atlanta airport. A photo shows him pulling a carry-on as he scans his security badge at a secure door, to avoid the airport screening process. Then, prosecutors said he handed off the carry-on to another person, who would take the guns and cash to members of a Mexican drug cartel. But that was really an undercover officer, too.
"As a sworn federal law enforcement officer, Mr. Samuels let down his colleagues, his agency and his country," said D'Amato.
Prosecutors said Samuels also smuggled tens of thousands of dollars to Jamaica, and used his security clearance to access a government computer to see if he and the alleged drug traffickers were under investigation.
"Agents found that one of the names Samuels was checking was a key player in the Ecstasy distribution ring here in Atlanta," said U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates.
Agents seized more than 700,000 Ecstasy pills worth $2.8 million. Samuels, his wife, who worked for Delta Airlines, and 15 others are now facing federal charges.
Prosecutors said this investigation all started with a tip about Samuels, and led to two separate investigations, into his actions and the drug activity. One of the raids was the largest seizure of Ecstasy in the U.S. this year, they said.