A former Yankee Stadium usher who was wrongfully charged by authorities with smuggling coke into Kennedy Airport after his luggage was tampered with won a $750,000 jury verdict against Delta Airlines Thursday in Brooklyn federal court.
Roger Levans was arrested at JFK on Dec. 29, 2010, after customs agents found three bricks of the drug in his luggage after he arrived from Guyana.
But the feds dropped the raps three months later after discovering that his suitcases had been breached in transit.
Levans claimed that the lock on the piece of luggage that contained the coke had been busted open and replaced with a ribbon.
But Levans lost his job at Yankee Stadium before his exoneration and suffered a massive humiliation among friends and family, according to his suit.
Levans tearfully recounted his ordeal at trial this week, telling jurors that he lost a job that he adored.
“It was such a prestigious place,” Roger Levans said. “Seeing all of these famous players in the dugout, interacting with them. Alex Rodriguez, shaking his hand. It was indescribable.”
He slapped Delta Airlines with a civil case in 2012, claiming that they were negligent in failing to secure his luggage en route to JFK.
The otherwise banal case drew headlines at the time because Levans told agents that his luggage contained “cooked rabbit” and other food items before they found the drugs.
Levans testified at trial that the wrongful bust has permanently polluted his Google search results.
Delta attorneys argued that the airline could in no way be held responsible for the presence of the cocaine and urged jurors to find the carrier not guilty.
But after only two hours, of deliberation, Levans got an early Christmas gift with the $750,000 award.
“I’m elated!” he said outside of court. “This is wonderful for me after all of this time. I’m very happy.”
His attorneys, Bennitta Joseph and Caitlyn McNaughton, said that jurors properly found Delta liable and that the award was fully justified.
“We are happy that Mr. Levans finally got some vindication for what he went through,” Joseph said.
Delta attorney Michael Crowley vowed to appeal the case.
Asked if he planned on flying Delta again, Levans’ smile turned cold.
“No,” he said. “No more Delta for me.”