At Los Angeles International airport, some Transportation Security Administration screeners were arrested when they were suspected of taking cash in exchange for allowing large shipments of methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana to pass through checkpoints.
Both former and current screeners were arrested, and one additional courier in custody as of April 2012 and another courier expected to surrender. They were charged with trafficking in narcotics and bribery.
According to KTLA News, there were five incidents where these TSA employees accepted up to $2400 to let couriers pass through X-Ray machines. The screeners would simply look the other way. A U.S. State Attorney stated that this case showed a real breakdown of the screening system, and was significant in harming the integrity of our security systems in our airports.
The seven individuals to be charged were between the ages of twenty-three and thirty, five males and two females. One of the subjects, not in custody but going to surrender, had attempted to smuggle five kilograms of cocaine through a checkpoint, but was caught when going through the wrong security checkpoint.
Each one of those caught, if convicted could face potentially a life sentence. The entire situation brings to light the nature of drug trafficking in this century. We have Homeland Security trying to make this a safe place to live, and keep the skies safe, yet some of the people we need to trust to keep safety and security in place has turned into trying to make a profit from their position.
TSA is doing everything possible to assist in the investigation. The TSA Federal Security Director at Los Angeles International has said that they will do everything possible, as well, to hold their employees to high standards.