The workers are charged with conspiring to smuggle more than $500,000 of drugs into the country on a Delta Air Lines flight from Mexico, U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said.
Federal authorities say the case involves Delta Flight 364, which arrived at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport from Mexico City on Jan. 13.
Investigators zeroed in on the airline workers after heroin and meth were found in an unclaimed bag on a carousel, prosecutors said.
Investigators then began interviewing one of the suspects, described as the performance leader for the shift of ramp employees who off-loaded the baggage from Flight 364.
Investigators say they found incriminating text messages between him and two other airline workers around the time the flight was arriving.
The three suspects – 35-year-old Luis Marroquin, of Atlanta; 41-year-old Carlos Springer, of Hampton; and 27-year-old Kelvin Rondon, of Atlanta – all face charges of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute methamphetamine and heroin and attempting to import the drugs into the U.S.
All three men were indicted by a federal grand jury this week, authorities said. It wasn’t known Thursday whether they have attorneys representing them.