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17 Tampa International Airport Staff Charged With ID Fraud


TAMPA - Seventeen current and former employees of Tampa International Airport were indicted and arrested Wednesday on charges they provided false information to authorities when obtaining their jobs.

Few details were available Wednesday. Federal authorities declined to comment, saying information would be made public at a news conference this afternoon.

The arrests are part of a series of sweeps at airports across the country that have netted hundreds of people alleged to have given false information in obtaining security clearance and jobs at airports.

Similar arrests have been made in Miami; Salt Lake City; Las Vegas; Atlanta; Boston; Sacramento, Calif.; Phoenix; Portland, Ore.; Charlotte, N.C.; and Seattle, according to a published report.

Steve Cole, spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in Tampa, would not elaborate on the Tampa arrests other than to say an announcement was planned for 1:30 p.m. today.

According to court records, the suspects, who were arraigned before federal Magistrate Thomas McCoun, are charged with giving false Social Security numbers to obtain jobs.

John VanDyke, spokesman for the newly formed Transportation Safety Administration, said he was not aware of the scope of the roundup. He did not believe any of the people charged worked for TSA, which handles security at the airport, including screening baggage.

VanDyke was told to refer all questions to the U.S. attorney's office, he said Wednesday afternoon.

The Tampa defendants are Edwin Gioraldo, 25; Hugo Romero, 22; Johnny Noriega, 41; Miriam Oroisco, 64; Carlos Ospina, 50; Latchman Kaladeen, 32; Uwe Hahn, 46; Salvador Delgado, 24; Julio Covenas, 51; Laurence Hart, 34; Fabio Reyes, 34; Javier Macias, 29; Clement Toppo, 52; Francisco DeLaOsso, 27; Javier Monroy, 22; Mario Lozano, 35; and Huberto Hernandez, 49.

Researcher Angela D. Holmes and reporter Keith Morelli contributed to this story. Reporter Elaine Sivestrini can be reached at (813) 259-7837.

Tampa Bay Tribune
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