Airline fueler charged with airport drug deals

Texting codes used: 'The Lakers' = cocaine; 'USC' = crystal meth

Published  5:20 PM HST Apr 12, 2013

An airline employee is charged with selling cocaine and crystal methamphetamine at Honolulu International Airport.

FBI agents tracked an American Airlines aircraft fueler before arresting Tulituafulu Maata on Wednesday.

Prosecutors say he used his security credentials to transport cocaine and meth for several years as an American Airlines fueler.

According to court documents, Maata used texting codes with a resident on Oahu to set up drug transaction dates and times.

Agents say he referred to cocaine as "The Lakers" and crystal meth as "USC."

A "ticket" meant a pound of dope.

Documents show Maata admitted he sold about 2-to-5-pounds of meth on six occasions to an FBI informant who had been using Maata as a supplier.

Prosecutors also say Maata bought the meth for $13,000 a pound and he expected to profit about $2,000 a pound.

Maata is scheduled to appear in court next week.

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