Airport worker accused of taking bribes for illicit pickups

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A worker at Florida’s busiest airport has been charged with taking bribes in exchange for letting unlicensed taxis pick up passengers.

Felix Garcia Madera, a traffic specialist at Orlando International Airport was arrested Thursday. He is facing charges of bribery by a public servant, receiving unlawful compensation for official behavior, unlawful use of a communication device and cheating, all felonies.

The Orlando Sentinel reports that Garcia Madera, when confronted by police, admitted he worked with four to six unlicensed taxi drivers. He was paid $10 per trip to allow them to solicit unsuspecting passengers for rides. The airport worker told investigators he did it because he was “hurting for cash,” according to a police report.

A spokesman for the airport authority couldn’t comment on the details of the investigation.

“This is however a prime example of our partnership with law enforcement and continuous monitoring activities taking place at Orlando International Airport,” said Rod Johnson, a spokesman for the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority.

Online court records showed no court records for Garcia Madera.

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