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CHICAGO — Three people, including a flight attendant and two bankers from Indiana, are implicated in a Chicago drug trafficking scheme. They’re accused of aiding Mexican drug traffickers in smuggling tons of cocaine into the U.S. and laundering millions of dollars.

Federal prosecutors say among the 17 people involved in the drug operation was Glenis Zapata from Lafayette. Zapata, alongside another person from Mexico and the Chicago leader from Texas, is facing charges for orchestrating the drug enterprise from 2018 to 2023.

Glenis Zapata was crowned Miss Indiana Latina back in 2011.

Police say they used trucks and a private plane originating from Toluca, Mexico, passing through Houston before landing in Indiana, where authorities intercepted the operation in 2021.

The drugs, concealed in suitcases, were then transported to a downtown Chicago hotel in a luxury SUV. Glenis Zapata, leveraging her role as a flight attendant, is accused of aiding in the transportation of drug money on commercial flights.

Additionally, Ilenis Zapata and Georgina Banuelos have been indicted for their involvement in money laundering activities.