The top post at United Aerospace Workers Local 1069, the union that represents employees who build military helicopters at Boeing's Ridley plant, is becoming a stepping stone to prison.
Two years after Anthony Forte Jr., the former president of UAW 1069, reported to a federal prison in Kentucky for running a kickback scheme out of the Boeing Helicopters Credit Union, the guy who replaced him as president, Michael Patterson, was sentenced to six months in prison.
Patterson pleaded guilty in March to attempted possession of prescription painkillers following a four-year federal probe that led to the arrest of 37 people – including 23 Boeing workers – on drug charges. Authorities say they were buying and selling Oxys, Xanax, fentanyl and Suboxone, among other drugs.
The FBI and DEA focused not just on the alleged sellers, but the users, too, because of their "critical role" in manufacturing U.S. military choppers, according to U.S. Attorney Zane Memeger. In other words, you don't want a pill-popping Boeing employee doing the dope fiend lean while he's installing the navigation system on a Chinook.
In addition to the prison time, Patterson must perform 200 hours of community service and pay a $1,000 fine.