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ABX AIR FBI investigating two cargo pilots to see if they sent feces in mail



Published: Sat, August 13, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



The bureau was tightlipped about specific information.

WILMINGTON, Ohio (AP) -- The FBI is investigating whether two pilots for a regional cargo airline mailed feces to company executives and took out unwanted magazine subscriptions for them.

No charges had been filed as of Saturday against the unidentified pilots for ABX Air Inc., which is based in this city about 40 miles northeast of Cincinnati.

It was unclear whether the feces were human or animal. Sending biohazardous material through the mail is a federal crime under domestic terrorism statutes, FBI spokesman Michael Brooks said.

The pilots union for ABX issued a message that said the FBI questioned the pilots this week and placed them on the federal terrorism roster known as the "selectee" list. That means the pilots would face additional security screening any time they pass through a passenger checkpoint and could face suspension of flying privileges, the union said.

"We were told that they [the FBI] consider ABX Air vital to national security," Lynn Nowell, general counsel with Teamsters Local 1224, said on the recorded phone message. "The pilots answered thoughtfully and fully, and we are confident they will be cleared or exonerated."

A message seeking comment from the company was left at its offices Friday.

Investigators would not identify the pilots, the executives or the magazines. Brooks also would not say how the agency was alerted to the alleged incidents or when they took place.

ABX Air runs an air cargo hub in Wilmington on behalf of global shipping giant DHL. It operates a 115-plane airline that carries freight nationally.




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