TSA screeners in LA ran drug ring, took narco bribes

Photo: Reuters. A man is screened with a backscatter x-ray machine at an LAX TSA checkpoint.

Four present and past security screeners at LAX took 22 payments of up to $2400 each to let large shipments of coke, meth, and pot slip through baggage X-ray machines. Oh, we are so very, very shocked.

In one incident detailed in the 40-page indictment (Link), screeners plotted to allow eight pounds of crystal meth to get through—then one of them ducked into an airport men's room where he was handed $600, the second payment for that delivery.

Just think! If you've flown out of LA recently, you law-abiding person, one of these very dirtbags may have harassed you over your terror-toothpaste.

More: LA Times, BBC News, Wired, WSJ.

Who did the TSA terrorize today? A 4-year-old girl. Why? She hugged her grandma.
95-year-old Air Force veteran robbed of $300


    1. I don’t blame the people working at the TSA. 

      They’re like anyone without a clearly defined mission. (An excellent analogue is the role of the French army in Algeria. [The French government eventually gave up all pretense of holding onto property held by the French Foreign Legion because they realized that holding onto Algeria would cost them more in their own cultural identity as Frenchmen than Algeria was worth to France.])

      It is mainly due to a semantic anomaly.

      They do not know what they are supposed to actually be doing or have any idea of applying statistical sampling to their work.

      They think its their JOB to be complete bastards. (That’s why any initiatives like “TSA Cares” is doomed to utter failure. [Its a Systemantic failure in that they oppose their own function. :-])

      Its like not recognizing that the source of criminal behavior in the DHS and the TSA areas of expertise and operations, which is stopping criminal behavior, is  going to be the DHS and the TSA. 

      Should they eventually become successful, DHS and TSA will be the only source for illegal border crossing of contraband, for illegal border crossing of people and for theft of material crossing the border.

      Like inept members of volunteer fire departments who set fires in order to justify their own existence, the more successful they are at prevention, meaning the fewer fires they have to fight, the more they are the source of oppositional behavior.

      There has to be a regulatory oppositional force which investigates the DHS and the TSA to catch problems as they occur and keep these as small as possible.

  1. Oh, I get it: now you freedom hating hippies want to set up more roadblocks on interstate commerce: do you realize how many service jobs eight pounds of meth could create?

    Poor, unfortunate, scapegoated TSA..why is BB so mean to you???

    1. I could actually see the TSA agents justifying their actions. Really, they are there to stop terrorists, not drug dealers, so taking a bribe to not do what they’re not there to do anyway should be all good, then. 

  2. I’m shocked… SHOCKED, to hear of this activity by this important operational branch of the Ministry of Permanent Fear and War.   A few bad apples, nothing more.

  3. The LAX screeners in my experience are much better than Burbank. They patted down my hair in Burbank…

  4. Terrorists could, you know, bribe TSA officials and slip something far more dangerous under the pretense of smuggling drugs. However, we absolutely need NOT drug prohibition NOR these guys at the airports. In fact, if anything, they make these things more likely to happen, not less.

    In fact, one Tom Clancy-like nightmare scenario that goes round my head involves terrorists smuggling in “unconventional” weapons using drug traffickers’ financing, expertise, means and networks of corruption. Just omitting to mention the fact that they are not smuggling drugs, or something besides drugs.

    1. One of the many conspiracy theories surrounding the Lockerbie bombing claimed that the explosives were placed aboard the aircraft as part of a CIA-backed drug smuggling operation. There’s no reason to think that there’s any truth in it, but it shows that the basic pattern has been in people’s minds for many years.
      It’s almost elegantly simple: have people who have elevated security privileges (TSA guys); provide an incentive (drug money) for them to misuse those privileges; have them open a loophole for one type of contraband (drugs); use that channel for another type (bombs).

      Another obvious point of attack is anyone who controls runway access, or whoever has control over security screening and identification of people with access to restricted areas. In fact, if you’re not in a hurry, it’s probably not hard to get your own people into positions of trust.

      Al-Qaeda has a demonstrated willingness to play the long game, planning attacks on a timetable that’s years long. I wonder how much groundwork they’ve already done for the next big spectacular.

  5. 600 bucks for letting through 8 pounds of meth?  Cheap date.  Thats 80 grand wholesale. Broken up?  Half a million. 

  6. Where is blogger bob to tell us this didn’t happen or was an isolated incident that should not be reflective of the entire operation?
    How many TSA agents have to go down with felony convictions before we stop pretending?

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