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Tag: TSA

10th Anniversary of Sept. 11 Didn’t Stop People From Bringing Guns to Airports

file photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

You’d think just two weeks after the 10th Anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, people would be conscious about bringing guns to airports. You’d think.

But nooo.

As part of ticklethewire.com’s occasional check up on guns at airports, we found that 20 firearms were found at airport checkpoints in the U.S. the week of Sept. 22 to Oct. 2, according to the Transportation Security Administration.

What’s more, during that week two “artfully concealed prohibited items” were found and 12 passengers were arrested after investigations of suspicious behavior or fraudulent travel documents.

 

TSA Tests Trusted Traveler Program

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Three TSA Officers and 2 Cops Accused of Taking Bribes in Oxycodone Drug Ring

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Three TSA officers along with a Connecticut county cop and Florida state trooper were indicted in Connecticut Monday on charges of taking bribes to let powerful narcotics travel freely across the country, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The five were among 18 indicted in the drug conspiracy that involved the mass distribution of  oxycodone, authorities describe as a strong,  highly-addictive prescription narcotic.

“The facts of this case are troubling for two principal reasons,” U.S. Attorney David B. Fein said in a statement. “First, we allege that this organization was responsible for the transportation of tens of thousands of oxycodone pills, which, when abused, are dangerous narcotics that destroy individuals, families, and communities. Second, we allege that three officers of the Transportation Security Administration and two law enforcement officers accepted bribes in exchange for permitting the illegal drugs and the cash proceeds of the illegal drug trafficking to travel safely, undeterred by airport security or law enforcement.”

The bust was part of “Operation Blue Coast,” an investigation of the local DEA initiative in Bridgeport, Conn.: the Bridgeport High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force.

The investigation began in April of this year. The DEA task force received information that someone with a large amount of oxycodone was going from Palm Beach, Fla., to Stamford, Conn., to sell thousands of the pills.

That individual was arrested on April 8 in possession of approximately 6,000 oxycodone pills in Stamford.

The suspected drug trafficker  told agents that over the course of about a year he had regularly purchased the drug from suppliers in Florida, flown or driven it to Connecticut several times a week, carrying up to 8,000 pills per trip, and then sold it to Connecticut traffickers. Airline records confirmed he had traveled from Florida to New York at least 65 times between November of last year and April of this year.  From New York he paid drivers to take him to and from drug deals in Connecticut.

But here’s where law enforcement officials come in: according to the press release,

“The arrested individual also explained that, to ensure the success of the operation, he provided cash and gift cards to Christopher Allen and John Best, TSA officers who screened passengers and luggage at Palm Beach International Airport (PBI) in West Palm Beach, Fla., and Brigitte Jones, a TSA officer who screened passengers and luggage at Westchester County Airport (HPN) in White Plains, N.Y. …

He also said he made several payments, totaling more than $20,000, to Michael Brady, a Westchester County Police officer, in order to ensure that he could carry large quantities of cash, the proceeds of his drug trafficking, through airport security at HPN.  The individual further explained that he provided cash to Justin Kolves, a Florida State Trooper, and gave checks to Jessica Douglas, Kolves’ fiancée, in exchange for Kolves’ assurance that individuals who transported narcotics or currency on behalf of the individual would not be detained by law enforcement while driving through Central Florida.”

“The Department of Justice and our law enforcement partners have no tolerance for corruption in these ranks,” said U.S. Attorney Fein.

TSA Fires 28 Employees in Hawaii; 15 Others Suspended

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Shakeups at the Honolulu International Airport.

CNN reports that the Transportation Security Administration fired 28 of its employees after a probe determined that bags were allowed on planes without being properly screened. Additionally, three people resigned or retired and 15 were suspended.

All those terminated or suspended “have the right to appeal the decision,” according to the TSA, CNN reported.

CNN reported that in March, Honolulu’s KITV 4 News reported that TSA officers on the morning shift regularly allowed checked bags to be loaded onto flights on nine daily departures without being screened for explosives.

3 TSA Agents Busted in Prescription Drug Ring

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

More bad publicity for the Transportation Security Administration.

Three of its agents, along with a police officer and a state trooper were among 20 people arrested in connection with an interstate prescription drug ring that shipped oxycodone to New York and Connecticut from Florida and relayed the profits back to Florida, Reuters news service reported.

Federal authorities in Connecticut on Tuesday announced the arrests.

Reuters reported that suspects Christopher Allen and John Best were TSA agents assigned to the Palm Beach International Airport in Florida, and the third accused TSA agent, Brigitte Jones, worked at Westchester County Airport in New York.

Other charged included Michael Brady, a police officer with the Department of Public Safety in Westchester County, N.Y. and Florida State Highway Patrol Trooper Justin Kolve.

 

 

9/11 Changed Career for Ex-FBI Agent John Pistole: He Now Heads TSA

John Pistole/dhs photo

Also read AP Story: TSA Chief Optimistic About Everything But Terror 
 
 
 
By Tim Evans
Indianapolis Star

Anderson native John Pistole was an FBI agent performing routine audits of the agency’s local offices when the terrorists attacked on Sept. 11, 2001.

Counterterrorism wasn’t exactly Pistole’s area of expertise. Nonetheless, he was quickly pulled into the investigation of the attacks on New York and Washington. It was a move that changed his career path and his life.

Today, Pistole heads the Transportation Security Administration — an agency that didn’t exist on Sept. 11, 2001, and, in fact, was created in response to the terrorist attacks.

In the aftermath of those attacks, Pistole’s work propelled him to the No. 2 position in the FBI before being named last summer to lead the TSA.

To read more click here.

 

Airport Screening Machines to Get Less Personal

file photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Good news for those who think the Transportation Security Administration has gone too far in its efforts to screen airline passengers.

The Associated Press reports that TSA is installing news technology at some airports that will show a generic outline of s peson’s body instead of showing an image of the naked body.

AP reported that the new technology will be used in 40 airports including Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Miami and Newark.

The news service said TSA will eventually use the technology at other airports as well.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Another Absurd TSA Tale: 95 Year Old Woman Forced to Take Off Diaper for Search

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

And now comes another story of the absurd involving the Transportation Security Administration, the folks who protect our airports.

The News Herald reports that a woman filed a complaint with the Department of Homeland Security after her 95-year-old mother, who is suffering from leukemia and in a wheelchair, was detained and searched and made to take off her adult diaper during a search at Northwest Florida Regional Airport last weekend.

Jean Weber of Destin, Fla. filed a complaint on behalf of her mother, who was headed to Michigan to be with family members in the final stages of leukemia, the paper reported.

Her mother, who was in a wheelchair, was asked to remove an adult diaper in order to complete a pat-down search.

“It’s something I couldn’t imagine happening on American soil,” Weber said Friday, according to the paper. “Here is my mother, 95 years old, 105 pounds, barely able to stand, and then this.”

TSA spokeswoman Sari Koshetz declined to comment, citing privacy issues, according to the paper.