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February 2023


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Tag: TSA

Raleigh Man Gets 3+ Years in Prison for Assaulting Female TSA Officer

By Steve Neavling

A Raleigh man who assaulted a TSA officer in March 2022 after she found fake ID cards inside his luggage was sentenced Friday to more than three years in federal prison.

Adonis Fabian Zorrilla, 27, was going through a checkpoint when the TSA began inspecting his bags. They discovered 17 fake ID cards with Zorilla’s photo and a variety of names. 

At that point, Zorrilla grabbed the TSA officer’s arm and tried to grab the ID cards from her, tearing one of her ligaments. 

He fled the airport, leaving behind his shoes and other belongings at the airport. 

Zorrilla was arrested for forgery in Georgia and brought to the Eastern District of North Carolina. He later pleaded guilty to the charge. 

A federal judge sentenced him to 37 months in prison and three years of supervised release. 

The FBI and Raleigh-Durham Police Department investigated the case. 

Hacker Leaks TSA’s No-Fly List from Unsecured Airline Server

By Steve Neavling

The TSA has launched an investigation after a hacker appears to have gained access to the 2019 federal no-fly list, which includes the names and birthdates of known or suspected terrorists.

The Swiss hacker, known as maia arson crimew, leaked the list after it was being stored on an insecure server connected to a commercial airline, The Daily Dot and CNN report.  

 “Like so many other of my hacks this story starts with me being bored and browsing shodan (or well, technically zoomeye, Chinese shodan), looking for exposed jenkins servers that may contain some interesting goods,” crimew said in a blog about the leak. “At this point I’ve probably clicked through about 20 boring exposed servers with very little of any interest, when I suddenly start seeing some familiar words. ‘ACARS,’ lots of mentions of ‘crew’ and so on. Lots of words I’ve heard before, most likely while binge watching Mentour Pilot YouTube videos. Jackpot. An exposed jenkins server belonging to CommuteAir.”

The server contained company data about CommuteAir, including the no-fly list and private information about the company’s employees. 

The TSA said it was “aware of a potential cybersecurity incident with CommuteAir, and we are investigating in coordination with our federal partners.”

In a statement to the Daily Dot, Commute Air said the exposed data was used for testing purposes. 

“The server contained data from a 2019 version of the federal no-fly list that included first and last names and dates of birth,” CommuteAir Corporate Communications Manager Erik Kane said. “In addition, certain CommuteAir employee and flight information was accessible. We have submitted notification to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and we are continuing with a full investigation.”

TSA Confiscates Undeclared 84-Millimeter Caliber Weapon in Luggage

An 84-millimeter caliber weapon confiscated at San Antonio International Airport. Photo: TSA.

By Steve Neavling

It’s not unusual for TSA agents to find weapons like knives and guns in checked luggage at airports. 

But agents weren’t prepared for what they found in checked baggage at San Antonio International Airport on Monday. 

Inside the baggage was a large, undeclared 84-millimeter caliber weapon that appears to be an anti-tank rifle. 

The case was not declared so it was confiscated. 

“You don’t see that caliber of weapon very often, thank god,” TSA spokeswoman Patricia Mancha told KENS-5.

The weapon resembles a Carl Gustaf recoilless rifle, a portable anti-tank weapon first produced by Swedish manufacturers in 1946. 

Texas law allows people to own such weapons as long as they’re registered with ATF. 

“It’s really alarming for anyone who wants to travel with that kind of weapon to not follow the rules that are set,” Mancha said. “They’re not difficult. They’re not a secret.” 

TSA Reveals Top 10 Most Bizarre Findings at Airport Checkpoints

Cattle prod inside a guitar case at Washington Dulles International Airport. Photo via TSA

By Steve Neavling

From a cattle prod in a guitar case to an inert grenade, the TSA revealed its 10 most unusual findings at airport checkpoints in 2022.

The list is revealed in a video, which counts down to the No. 1 strangest item – fentanyl inside candy wrappers, and each is accompanied with a clever clip. 

Most of the bizarre discoveries were weapons hidden inside everyday items. One was a knife in a laptop, and others were guns hidden in a Play Station, an arm sling, a jar of peanut butter, and even a raw chicken. 

Check out the video here:


TSA on Track to Seize Record Number of Guns This Year

Firearms discovered by the TSA. Photo via TSA.

By Steve Neavling

The TSA is on pace to confiscate a record number of guns at airport security checkpoints in 2022 – and most of the firearms were loaded. 

As of Monday, TSA agents seized 5,832 firearms so far this year, and nearly 88% were loaded, according to the agency. 

Last year’s record was 5,972. Before 2021, the the previous record was 4,400 seizures in 2019.  

The record seizures come as more Americans are carrying firearms. 

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport led the nation in gun seizures this year at 407, followed by Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport with 340 and George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston with 268. 

TSA Screening Mistakes Led to Man Boarding Airplane with Box Cutters

By Steve Neavling

A passenger boarded his Frontier Airlines flight from Cincinnati to Tampa with box cutters on Friday evening after TSA employees committed mistakes in screening procedures. 

The passenger, a man, threatened to stab passengers and crew members with the box cutters, prompting an emergency landing at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, The New York Times reports.

The TSA said its employees at Kentucky’s Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport failed to adhere to operating procedures and are required to undergo additional training. 

Box cutters are prohibited in the cabin and must be in checked luggage. 

The man approached the screening area with two backpacks, which were examined using CT technology. 

According to a review of the incident, the employees failed to fully use the CT imaging capabilities. 

After the man’s luggage was flagged for an additional search, the employees removed blades from the box cutter and returned them to the passenger.  

“This is contrary to standard operating procedure, which requires these items to be placed in checked bags or voluntarily abandoned,” TSA spokeswoman Patricia Mancha said. “The backpack containing the other box cutter, and the remainder of the traveler’s property, was screened for explosives, but the box cutter was not discovered.”

The FBI detained the man after the flight arrived in Atlanta.

And the Cutest TSA Canine Is … Eebbers, a Vizsla-Labrador Mix out of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport

Eebbers was voted cutest TSA canine (Photo via TSA)

By Steve Neavling

Put your paws together for the cutest TSA canine of 2022 – Eebbers, an 11-year-old explosive detection dog who works at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. 

Eebbers was voted the cutest canine that works for the TSA. 

The agency held a social media contest and encouraged the public to vote on the cutest canine. 

Eebbers, a Vizsla-Labrador mix, beat out 92 contenders, who were chosen by TSA handlers from airports across the country. The other final four canines were Ava and Messi from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and Tom-Magnum from John F. Kennedy International Airport. 

Eebers is a passenger screening canine who works at MSP with his handler. They screen travelers and their belongings for explosives. 

Eebers has worked at MSP for nearly 10 years.  

Eebers was named in honor of 19-year-old U.S. Army Pvt. James Ebbers, who died on October 14, 2002, in Dijbuoti, Africa, while assigned to the 551st Military Police Company in Fort Campbell, Kentucky. 

Eebers is also the last remaining canine from the Puppy Program still working every day for the TSA. 

Eebbers has helped provide security for two Super Bowls, the Special Olympics World Games, a NCAA National Championship Football game, the Indianapolis 500 and a NASCAR event. 

When he’s not working, Eebers loves swimming in any of Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes in the summer.

The TSA has more than 1,000 canines paired with handlers.

The top 12 cutest dogs will be featured in 2023 Canine Calendar, which will become available later this year. 

Screening a Bald Eagle? It’s All in Day’s Work for TSA Officers

Clark the bald eagle. (Photo via TSA)

By Steve Neavling

Clark was not your ordinary passenger. 

The 19-year-old bald eagle drew attention at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport in North Carolina on Thursday, when he was spotted perched on his handler’s arm at a TSA checkpoint. 

But the eagle didn’t ruffle the feathers of TSA officers, who were told Clark was making an authorized trip to Charlotte to appear at High Point University, the school said in a tweet.

Clark is part of the Wold Bird Sanctuary and is used to flying commercial. 

The TSA even posted photos of Clark, who showed off his impressive wingspan. 

“Our special guest was Clark the Eagle with the World Bird Sanctuary, who decided to give his wings a break and fly commercial,” the TSA tweeted.  His airline notified us and we screened him and his handler. Clark is trained to spread his wings, and even showed off a bit during screening.