Dozens Arrested In Drug Raid At Pa. Boeing Plant | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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Dozens Arrested In Drug Raid At Pa. Boeing Plant

More than three dozen people have been charged in a prescription drug sweep that included a raid on a Boeing plant near Philadelphia that makes military helicopters.

The arrests happened Thursday morning at the 5,400-employee plant in Ridley Park.

Federal authorities say 37 people were charged with illegal distribution of a prescription drug. All but one is an employee or former employee of the plant.

U.S. Attorney Zane Memeger said the arrests are the result of a four-year undercover investigation. He said Boeing contacted authorities to report "suspicions that drug activity was occurring on their property."

Undercover agents purchased the drugs — Oxycodone and Xanax — or sold others placebos.

Memeger said the Justice Department focused not only on the people selling the drugs but also on the employees who used them because they play a critical role in making aircraft used by the U.S. military.

Workers at the plant build the H-47 Chinook helicopter and the V-22 Osprey. The plant is part of the Defense, Space and Security unit of the Chicago-based Boeing Co. It is also the headquarters for its Rotorcraft division.

An official with Boeing's Military Aircraft division at the plant declined to comment. A message left for a defense unit spokesman was not immediately returned.

NPR's Carrie Johnson contributed to this report, which contains material from The Associated Press

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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