An on-duty New York City bus driver was arrested with nearly 8 pounds of heroin valued at about $3 million after an accomplice dropped it off on his evening route through the Bronx.
The New York Post reports
that longtime MTA driver Francis Abankwa, 50, was taken down during a sting that ended at the Kingsbridge Depot in Inwood last week. He was arrested and held without bail while his fellow drug courier was released on a $100,000 bond.
"I think it’s a terrible thing that driver did," said Doris Burton, 46, a regular passenger on the BX2 bus route. "Seriously, he can’t deal heroin on his own time? There’s already enough problems with this line. It’s never punctual. Maybe his drug dealing is throwing all the other drivers off schedule."
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The sting was orchestrated when African dope smuggler Boubacar Traore was caught at John F. Kennedy International Airport smuggling the heroin on a flight from Tanzania.
He confessed to smuggling the heroin in his Samsonite roller, and agreed to work with the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) on the sting.
Going through with the original plan, Traore scheduled to meet Abankwa on the bus he regularly drove, and drop off the suitcase. Little did Abankwa know, however, that the DEA agents had plants on the bus and wires on Traore to record the deal.
The agents arrested Abankwa after he parked the bus and began rolling the heroin to his car. One source told the New York Daily News
that, "We didn’t want to make the arrest on the bus and have a situation like 'Speed,'" the 1994 action flick starring Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock about a hijacked bus full of hostages that cannot drive below 50 mph without triggering a bomb.
"Where there are drugs there is violence," bus rider Skip Wallace, 65, told the Post with a similar sentiment. "And who knows if a deal went bad, the whole bus could have gotten shot up. That driver takes all the riders lives into his hands when he gets behind the wheel. What he did was foolish and dangerous."
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