Ring Blamed for $2M in Bogus Checks

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) -- Federal authorities in New Jersey say a counterfeiting ring used baggage handlers to steal U.S. Treasury checks from cargo at Newark Liberty International Airport.

Authorities say the ring copied security features and cashed $2 million worth of bogus paper.

An indictment unsealed Wednesday says Merlinhg (mer-LING) Alcantara paid baggage handlers to steal mail.

Alcantara is a legal U.S. resident from the Dominican Republic living in Bethlehem, Pa. Authorities say his brother helped him but fled to their native country just before he was to plead guilty.

Two baggage handlers and a woman from the Dominican Republic have already pleaded guilty.

Alcantara has pleaded not guilty. His lawyer did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

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