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Terminal Mixup Implicates TSA Agents In LAX Smuggling Plot

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the and-your-knees-go-on-these-yellow-dots dept.

Crime 255

First time accepted submitter ian_po writes "The U.S. Attorney's office has filed indictments against 7 people, including two Transportation Security Administration Screeners and two former TSA employees, after federal agents set up several smuggling sting operations. The alleged smuggling scheme was revealed after a suspected drug courier went to Terminal 5, where his flight was departing, instead of going through the Terminal 6 checkpoint his written instructions directed him to. Court documents indicate the plan was to return to Terminal 5 through a secure tunnel after being allowed through security by the accused Screener. The courier was caught with 10 pounds of cocaine at the other checkpoint by a different TSA agent. If convicted, the four TSA employees face a minimum of 10 years in Federal prison." If ten pounds of anything can get onto a plane by the simple expedient of bribery, please explain again why adult travelers, but not children, must remove their shoes as they stand massed in an unsecured part of a typical U.S. airport.

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The Weakest Link (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39812733)

As always, the weakest link in anything security related are humans. This begs the question of whether we really need the TSA

Re:The Weakest Link (4, Insightful)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#39812933)

Who guards the guards?

Re:The Weakest Link (0)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813035)

Since they where caught, and are being tried, apparently someone is watching them.

Re:The Weakest Link (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39813103)

although, they were only caught after a courier bungled one of the trips through security, tipping off federal investigators to the operation.

Re:The Weakest Link (5, Informative)

Robert Goatse (984232) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813135)

Since they where caught, and are being tried, apparently someone is watching them.

Caught by the drug runner's stupidity. Dude went down the wrong line, that's how they got snagged. I wouldn't say the TSA "caught" them by their elite skills.

Re:The Weakest Link (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39813439)

No TSA didn't catch them, TSA was allowing them to go through with the contraband and letting them use their secure employee areas to skip the other TSA checkpoints run by agents who haven't yet been paid off. Seriously though, this is more of a failure of the drug war, no other country is 1 gram of cocaine worth 20 bucks sorry, but making it so illegal has made it extremely profitable and this, being the USA, makes it irresistible since we're all 100% entirely profit motivated.

Re:The Weakest Link (3, Insightful)

cjcela (1539859) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813121)

That is part of the issue. We would be much better off without 'guards'. People already know what to do in case of an emergency in an airplane these days. Stop wasting money in the TSA.

But what are they accomplishing? (3, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813047)

Those humans are letting smugglers through ... but they haven't caught a single terrorist yet.

I'd say that almost all of the "additional security" since the WTC attack is only "security theatre". Aside from the improved flight deck doors and increased passenger involvement.

Get rid of the TSA.

Re:The Weakest Link (5, Insightful)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813139)

This begs the question of whether we really need the TSA

No. I'd say it answers the question quite succinctly.

Re:The Weakest Link (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39813255)

I think you mean to say that it raises the question. "Begging the question" means something else entirely.

Re:The Weakest Link (5, Informative)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813355)

This begs the question

Raises.

Sorry. I need help.

Re:The Weakest Link (5, Funny)

alexo (9335) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813603)

This begs the question

Raises.

Sorry. I need help.

Beg for it.

Re:The Weakest Link (4, Interesting)

Jawnn (445279) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813541)

Quite right. You would (probably not) be surprised to learn that the rank and file airport workers, you know, those minimum wage folk who flip the burgers, empty the trash, haul the bags, and fuel the aircraft (more on that in a moment) go to work in the secured areas without going through screening of any kind. Well, there's that pre-employment background check, but that's... let's call it "less than exhaustive".
My spouse used to work for one of the companies that fuels commercial aircraft at many of our nation's major airports. These workers have an extremely important job, and as you might expect, they have access to extremely sensitive parts of airport and aircraft. Nevertheless, their background checks are (or were) done by the cheapest contractor they could find. The results were... spotty. It seems reasonable to assume that the same goes for workers at the terminal food courts, news stands, custodial services, etc. Those poor smugglers could probably have bought the services of a Cinnabon worker for a lot less than a TSA agent.

Re:The Weakest Link (1)

lightknight (213164) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813663)

To help smuggle drugs in, apparently.

Of course... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39812747)

The government assumes as usual that terrorists don't have money... why would they they only live in tents with sand all around.

Secure Tunnel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39812755)

You can just walk from terminal 5 to 6 normally, it's not hard, they're connected and adjacent to each other.

Re:Secure Tunnel? (1)

Duplicate Comment (2036186) | more than 2 years ago | (#39812853)

Indeed. That *is* the secure tunnel. "Secure", in this case, refers to the terminal after you pass thru screening

Bribery, huh? (5, Funny)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 2 years ago | (#39812765)

Clearly this indicates that travelers should be tipping their screeners more, and more often.

Re:Bribery, huh? (4, Interesting)

oddjob1244 (1179491) | more than 2 years ago | (#39812855)

From TFA:

TSA employees took payments of up to $2,400 to provide drug couriers unfettered access at LAX over a six-month period last year.

Up to $2,400 bucks. That's less than the cost of a first class ticket for the average Joe who doesn't want to deal with TSA. It's also well within the budget of a terrorist organization. That's awfully cheap.

Re:Bribery, huh? (2)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813083)

Well, here's the question though, would these screeners have 'ignored' an explosive for $2,400?

I mean I wouldn't lift a finger to report someone selling pot. But if I somehow knew someone was selling plastic explosives I would definitely report them. I think a TSA agent is probably more likely to turn a blink eye to cocaine than an actual threat to people's lives.

I know I could sleep easy knowing there is a kilo of coke in the world. I wouldn't be able to sleep easy if I let a terrorist kill 200 people.

Re:Bribery, huh? (5, Insightful)

DarkTempes (822722) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813189)

Of course they wouldn't possibly lie to you about what you're helping them smuggle.

Re:Bribery, huh? (5, Insightful)

tftp (111690) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813195)

Well, here's the question though, would these screeners have 'ignored' an explosive for $2,400?

Do these screeners have a portable chemical lab kit right next to the pornoscanner? Are they trained chemists who know what to do with this lab kit to tell the difference between a drug and an explosive?

Of course, once the screeners are paid the courier carries whatever he pleases, and nobody is going to check what it is.

I think a TSA agent is probably more likely to turn a blink eye to cocaine than an actual threat to people's lives.

Cocaine may be more destructive than explosives.

Re:Bribery, huh? (1)

johnny cashed (590023) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813637)

Cocaine may be more destructive than explosives.

Not while it is in transit on an airplane. Of course, neither are explosives that dangerous, provided they aren't set up to be detonated in flight, as an Army veteran demonstrated recently with a block of C4 on a domestic flight.

Re:Bribery, huh? (1)

RubberDogBone (851604) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813753)

Cocaine won't bring down an airplane. It won't explode in the TSA queues. It won't leap out of the bag and stab anyone.

Re:Bribery, huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39813199)

I don't think the corrupt screeners will _check_ for cocaine, so bribing them and telling them you are smuggling drugs and swapping it with a bomb would be the terrorist's gambit.

Hope that doesn't keep you awake at night.

Hehe captcha was 'suspects'

Re:Bribery, huh? (4, Insightful)

aintnostranger (1811098) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813207)

do you think the TSA guys checked that the guy was carrying what he told them? Oh, we are going to accept your bribe, but we'll check your package. I don't think so.

Re:Bribery, huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39813227)

What if the TSA agents were fooled into thinking they were only letting narcotics through when in fact it was some cleverly disguised explosive material? It's not like they could check the bag if they thought something was amiss. I think most wouldn't even know.

Re:Bribery, huh? (4, Insightful)

Rhys (96510) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813239)

So you're saying that the TSA guy who took the bribe trusted the obviously trustworthy guy trying to bribe him that it was really coke, as opposed to say, 10 lbs of plastic explosives?

Security theater to catch the rare stupid attacker and enrich the buddies of those in congress and nothing more is all it is.

Re:Bribery, huh? (2)

Solozerk (1003785) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813383)

That's true, except you could be told it's coke that's being smuggled while it's really explosives. Or a few runs actually smuggling coke to get the screeners to lay down their guards (assuming they'd even go to the bother of checking the first few runs to make sure nothing dangerous is being let through), and then you could replace it with explosives/weapons/whatever for the next run. In any case, this just proves something that should have been obvious: no matter how tight your security procedures (and in the TSA's case they aren't what one would really define as 'tight' IMHO), humans are still fallible and the weakest link in the chain.

Re:Bribery, huh? (1)

VoidCrow (836595) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813275)

> Up to $2,400 bucks. That's less than the cost of a first class ticket for the average Joe who doesn't want to deal with TSA. It's also well within the budget of a terrorist organization. That's awfully cheap.

But that's what you get when you have people who are awfully badly paid, doing an awfully shitty job.

It's all smoke and mirrors. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39812773)

Really, how is one meant to sell cancer causing X-ray scanners if the public realizes that the costly scanners can't stop well funded people from bribing severely underfunded people.

Re:It's all smoke and mirrors. (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#39812967)

Not even "well funded". $2,400 (the alleged price) is, like, two middle-class house payments.

TSA corruption?! (5, Informative)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#39812781)

Who would have thought?!?!

Seriously, though, as someone that proctored the TSA tests for years, believe me, I'm not surprised at all. Half the people I sat for the tests seemed to be under the influence of some type of narcotics, not to mention the gang tattoos and shit.

The test itself was stellar, too, asking hard hitting questions like "Have you ever lived in a house you thought was haunted?" I wish I could say I was kidding, but I'm not.

Remember this next time they've got their hand in your 8 year old's waistband....

Re:TSA corruption?! (2)

ZeroSumHappiness (1710320) | more than 2 years ago | (#39812915)

"Have you ever lived in a house you thought was haunted?"

Wait, which is the right answer?

Re:TSA corruption?! (1)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813051)

Fuck if I know, I didn't score the tests; I just sat people for them and made sure they weren't cheating.

How one 'cheats' on questions like that, though, I have no idea...

Re:TSA corruption?! (4, Funny)

digitig (1056110) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813055)

"Have you ever lived in a house you thought was haunted?"

Wait, which is the right answer?

"No, because ghosts are afraid of the invisible goblins that follow me everywhere."

Re:TSA corruption?! (1)

siddesu (698447) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813145)

4. Not since the government is paying for a weekly visit from the exorcist.

Re:TSA corruption?! (1)

Thing 1 (178996) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813025)

Reminds me of the test for cops, that kicked applicants out for being too intelligent. "If you can see through our shit, then you're not good enough for us!"

Why? Because (4, Informative)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#39812783)

If ten pounds of anything can get onto a plane by the simple expedient of bribery, please explain again why adult travelers, but not children, must remove their shoes as they stand massed in an unsecured part of a typical U.S. aiport.

Because the TSA isn't about security, it is about making people feel secure. Well, that and wasting billions of federal dollars on "security" equipment manufactured by private companies run by buddies of TSA directors and/or former TSA directors. I'm not actually sure which one is their main goal, right now.

Kudos to the Terminal 6 guy for actually noticing the 10 pounds of cocaine. I would not want to be a TSA agent who got thrown into Federal prison. That does not sound fun, at all.

Re:Why? Because (3, Insightful)

Chas (5144) | more than 2 years ago | (#39812867)

Because the TSA isn't about security, it is about making people feel secure.

Wrong!

The TSA isn't about security, or security theater, or making people feel secure.

At this point, they're like every other useless, failed agency in this country. A bunch of hacks trying to cover their asses so they continue to get paid for doing a job that isn't actually needed.

Re:Why? Because (0)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#39812963)

Have you considered emigrating to Somalia?

Re:Why? Because (2)

Balial (39889) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813039)

Lol... "Somalia's worse, ergo, nothing needs fixing". That's some great logic there, Lou.

In response to GP, though... it's clear the TSA's busted. What other good-for-nothing orgs are there? I'm generally of the opinion some have some actual value :)

Re:Why? Because (2)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813687)

No but I've thought about moving to the EU where they've outlawed nudebody scanners as hazardous to health, and don't have any kind of patdowns/sexual assault by strangers. Funny. The former Eastern Europe is now MORE free than the U.S.A.

Re:Why? Because (1)

lightknight (213164) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813703)

Yes. I hear they have their own version of the TSA, which reportedly has kept terrorism to a minimal.

Re:Why? Because (1)

mayko (1630637) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813217)

Because the TSA isn't about security, it is about making people feel secure.

Wrong!

The TSA isn't about security, or security theater, or making people feel secure.

At this point, they're like every other useless, failed agency in this country. A bunch of hacks trying to cover their asses by busting people for drugs

Re:Why? Because (3, Insightful)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813735)

The principles behind the TSA are far worse than that. People's rights are slowly being boiled away. The TSA is about getting people used to random searches no matter where they are. There have been repeated efforts to expand the TSA to all public transport, not just planes.

Also the TSA publicly and emphatically break the principle that "We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal", instead the wealthy are specifically excluded from the predation of the TSA. This is not even hidden yet the majority blindly accept that the poor and middle class are routinely abused while the wealthy are left alone shoes on, never touched, carry on assault rifles, all the fluids they want on private or charter flights.

So public enforcement of the principle that America is a classed society, those that are protected (as publicly described by a US president the haves and the haves more) from those that are abused (the have not). Then other lesson being driven home is the majority have no right to personal privacy of any kind either direct physical (naked scanners and direct sexual abuse) or belongings (phone, camera, computer data). Again with a distinction between rich and middle class/poor.

All without a single hint of protest at people being treated differently, about a grossly unequal quality of treatment for the rich.

Re:Why? Because (1)

MetalliQaZ (539913) | more than 2 years ago | (#39812895)

Because the TSA isn't about security, it is about making people feel secure.

Close, but not quite. It's about the government making it look like they are doing something about security. ...And spending lots of money like you said.

I don't think they give a flying fart about how people feel. If they did, they wouldn't have groped that little girl from a few stories back.

Is cocaine an explosive? (3, Insightful)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 2 years ago | (#39812801)

So why would the TSA give a shit?

Oh yeah, they'll never actually catch or stop an actual terrorist so using their fourth amendment exemption to search for things that aren't security risks is all they can actually do.

Re:Is cocaine an explosive? (0)

Wingfat (911988) | more than 2 years ago | (#39812925)

hehehe... rolling on the floor laughing. explosive.. that was perfect. But yeah what they do doesnt work. If they really havent caught much and things like this are happening all day long everyday. I am sure. I have flown before and was able to get stuff through security AND i was patted down and all my bags shuffled through and they still didnt find what they held in their hand at one point. hella funny.. TSA let me know if you want to know how to get stuff through ;-)

Be fair, guys! (4, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#39812813)

Those poor TSA agents thought that it was the CIA's cocaine they were waving through. They were just doing their jobs.

Re:Be fair, guys! (2)

JockTroll (996521) | more than 2 years ago | (#39812833)

If you don't smuggle drugs you're a terrorist, citizen. Remember, winners use drugs.

Re:Be fair, guys! (1)

lightknight (213164) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813717)

4 out of 5 top athletes agree with this.

Re:Be fair, guys! (1)

Wingfat (911988) | more than 2 years ago | (#39812993)

hehehe.. silly.

Terrible (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39812819)

If it's possible to move ten pounds of cocaine through an airport, it's just as possible to move ten pounds of explosives. Hell, the TSA agents don't even need to know it's a bomb. If they think it's just drugs they probably won't care. Terrorists don't even need to get a bomb on a plane. They'd do far more damage setting it off in the airport, probably killing a larger number of people and likely resulting in air travel being grounded around the country for a few days while the powers that be try to figure out what happened and whether other airports are at risk.

Really, the only way to make it stop is to completely leave the Middle East alone, in which case they'll probably go bother someone else or each other. The only other alternative is to make sure they know that if they bomb our airports, we'll hit them back with one hundred times as much force and an equal disregard for human life. Either way, the TSA becomes completely pointless.

Re:Terrible (1)

KhabaLox (1906148) | more than 2 years ago | (#39812893)

Really, the only way to make it stop is to completely leave the Middle East alone, in which case they'll probably go bother someone else or each other.

Terrorists are not rational, and their hatred for the West runs too deep for such a strategy to work.

The only other alternative is to make sure they know that if they bomb our airports, we'll hit them back with one hundred times as much force and an equal disregard for human life.

We tries/are trying that. It's not really working. They still blew up London in 2007.

Re:Terrible (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813219)

We have not tried. If we did, we would have carpet bombed several countries by now.

Re:Terrible (2)

MetalliQaZ (539913) | more than 2 years ago | (#39812941)

I wouldn't say explosives are the same as cocaine. There are chemical detectors that can detect that kind of thing... as a colleague of mine discovered when he tried to go through security in Tel Aviv a day after placing his laptop bag on an engine part filled with jet fuel.

-d

Re:Terrible (-1, Troll)

dfetter (2035) | more than 2 years ago | (#39812945)

Um, excuse me, but did it escape your notice that the vast majority of terrorists in this country are white "Christians" on the extreme right?

Complete bullshit. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39813065)

Um, excuse me, but did it escape your notice that the vast majority of terrorists in this country are white "Christians" on the extreme right?

Complete bullshit. The vast majority of terrorists in this country today are black democrats who form "flash mobs" to terrorize retail stores and also seek out and beat the fuck out of random white victims as "justice for Trayvon".

Re:Terrible (-1, Troll)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813733)

Really? I could have sworn the "vast majority" were not rightwing christians, but liberals on the left who keep breaking-into labs to rescue animals, or protesting the lumbering of trees, or rallying around WTO conventions. In the process they often sabotage or blow-up the equipment or smash citizens windows (see the videos from Occupy).

Re:Terrible (1)

lightknight (213164) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813741)

Indeed. And even the ones who are not are considered fairly dangerous.

As a matter of fact, I have the names of some of the greatest terrorists the world has known. Their exploits are legendary, and their actions are said to have changed a nation: George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson...

Re:Terrible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39812989)

I have to disagree with your proposed solution.

Our activity in the middle east was decreasing until some jack asses decided to hijack 4 planes killing thousands.

Ever since we have been bombing the living crap out of the middle-east they haven't put a real serious attack in place. Yea, we have had the shoe bomber and the underwear bomber, they seem more like test cases than actual attempts.

Also a plane going boom in the sky scares people a lot more than a bomb going off somewhere where you aren't.

your argument is gratuitous (1)

NemoinSpace (1118137) | more than 2 years ago | (#39812831)

If ten pounds of anything .... It does not relate to the subject. It is vague, specious, and kind of -1ish.

Crime sans punishment.... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39812841)

I'd like to think that since these people were in positions of power regarding 'Homeland Security', TSA agents after all, are supposed to be there to stop threats right, that such a violation of public trust and authority would warrant them much harsher penalties than some common bloke caught smuggling dope. Sadly I know this not to be true.

I've always thought that Federal employees, be it lowly TSA employees, postal workers right up to Supreme Court Justices, should be held to a much harsher judicial standard than your every day citizen, or local and state public servant. Why? Because the amount of power within the system that is retained by those positions, makes the violations of it that much more severe because they breaking the public trust.

In short, if the system is rotten from within, kinda hard to support in it theory, much less in practice.

No oversight, no accountablity. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39812863)

Not surprising when the TSA, who is effectively accountable to no one, hires high school dropouts and trains them to be airport security theater thugs.
Perhaps if the TSA goons had a shred pride and professionalism we would not have such terrible problems. Not saying your average PD or Sherrif's department are perfect, but they're orders of magnitude more competent and professional than our petty airport dictators.

Re:No oversight, no accountablity. (1)

ZeroSumHappiness (1710320) | more than 2 years ago | (#39812943)

[Y]our average PD or Sheriff's department are ... orders of magnitude more competent and professional than our petty airport dictators.

And that's saying something.

Side effect of War on Drugs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39812869)

I'd wager that number of agents that could be bribed to allow explosives/weapons/etc on board is significantly smaller than those that could be bribed to allow drugs.

If you had the TSA agents focus on actual threats instead of acting as the smuggling police, they would both be better at their jobs (due to more focused training and less distraction), and less corruptible (nearly all TSA agents are against hijacking/bombing airplanes, but opinions are mixed on drugs)

Re:Side effect of War on Drugs (3, Informative)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 2 years ago | (#39812931)

Because they can tell that a 10 pound package contains 10 pounds of cocaine and not 10 pounds of explosives with their magical ESP powers?

Or that there's not a knife or gun hidden in the center of that cocaine like substance?

Or, god forbid, a bottle of water hidden inside?

Re:Side effect of War on Drugs (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813107)

They probably knew the person. He didn't show up and start throwing 2400 dollars around.

Re:Side effect of War on Drugs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39813543)

Well, a bottle of water IS pretty dangerous.. It tends to make things duplicate. I just hope they don't feed the cocaine after midnight.

Re:Side effect of War on Drugs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39813783)

They can tell because everyone knows you can't huff semtex and nitrate ferts burn alot more that cocaine and dont get you high. What else did you think they were going to spend their $2,400 on.

Re:Side effect of War on Drugs (2)

v1 (525388) | more than 2 years ago | (#39812939)

I'd wager that number of agents that could be bribed to allow explosives/weapons/etc on board is significantly smaller than those that could be bribed to allow drugs.

I'd also wager that said screener was bribed t let the smuggler through with a 10 lb brick of whatever the heck he was carrying. I don't think the screener pulled out the DEA drug test kit to make sure that was a block of coke and not a block of say, semtex. It's probably also fair to assume that this wasn't the first time he's done this, this is just the first time getting caught at it. After the first few, the screener that was getting used to the quick cash probably was paying a lot less attention to what the courier was carrying.

The only reason it got caught this time is the smuggler screwed up. That indicates there's a fundamental flaw in the system. But it doesn't really matter, nobody that can fix it is listening to anything we have to say.

Re:Side effect of War on Drugs (1)

ZeroSumHappiness (1710320) | more than 2 years ago | (#39812957)

You're assuming that the TSA agents are checking to make sure that's 10 pounds of cocaine and not 10 pounds of semtex. If they know there's drugs there that are supposed to be waved through I imagine they'd try to minimize the exposure of those drugs.

Re:Side effect of War on Drugs (1)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | more than 2 years ago | (#39812983)

"I'll give you $2,400 to let me bring this bomb ... I mean, these drugs through your checkpoint.

Re:Side effect of War on Drugs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39813155)

So you're saying if I'm a terrorist I should pose as a drug smuggler, and pay them to let me take my vaguely rectangular wrapped package on the plane under the presumption that it's a brick of coke?

Only $1,200 required to get 10 lbs on the plane (2)

darpified (698235) | more than 2 years ago | (#39812873)

That little of a bribe is required! That is horrible, the "accused" agent met the smuggler to get the second payment of $600. Why would a terrorist not just see that as part of the costs of doing whatever plot they have planned. I'm sure they could easily scrounge up that much money, just call the whichever explosive cocaine and they'll be fine. Ugh.

Federal Prison... (1)

Ambiguous Coward (205751) | more than 2 years ago | (#39812899)

Will the prison be more secure than the airport? :o

Nation's security needs? (1)

colinrichardday (768814) | more than 2 years ago | (#39812909)

From the article:

"The allegations in this case describe a significant breakdown of the screening system through the conduct of individuals who placed greed above the nation's security needs," said U.S. Attorney Andre Birotte Jr.

OK, the people who took bribes to let this stuff get through deserve to be prosecuted, but can we please stop appealing to so-called "national security"?

Heh... (1)

HapSlappy_2222 (1089149) | more than 2 years ago | (#39812911)

I wonder if the previous story about the 4 year old was actually TSA attempting to "recruit" another drug running mule.

Utterly unsurprising (2)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#39812919)

Several decades ago a popular author of thrillers said something along the lines of "the best way to smuggle a nuclear bomb into the USA is to disguise it as drugs and bring it in through the Miami airport".

10 punds of cocaine is going to endanger ... (1, Insightful)

Skapare (16644) | more than 2 years ago | (#39812921)

... an airplane how? Is the terrorist going to threaten to force everyone to snort it?

Re:10 punds of cocaine is going to endanger ... (1)

MetalliQaZ (539913) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813117)

They have other jobs in addition to finding bombs and guns. They're on the lookout for all contraband, including drugs. They seriously freak out if you bring unauthorized produce into the country.

Re:10 punds of cocaine is going to endanger ... (1)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813205)

So apparently doing something illegal is okay as long as it's not one of the items on the Security Theater checklist?

Re:10 punds of cocaine is going to endanger ... (1)

Xiver (13712) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813589)

How about when he pulls the gun out of the middle of it and hijacks the plane? What if its not cocaine, but anthrax? What if its not cocaine, but a bomb?

This might be start of the end of TSA (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39813001)

Its possible that finally congress will take a hard look at the TSA.

I don't get it (4, Insightful)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813011)

I'm annoyed by the TSA as much as the next guy, but it's their job to screen people and baggage for threats to aircraft (snow globes, nail clippers, pasta sauce, hand grenades etc.). Since when is it their job to detect drugs? That's the job of the police, not the TSA. Cocaine and meth are not threats to aircraft.

Re:I don't get it (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39813455)

What are you kidding me?

How do you REALLY know that that white powder is cocaine and not an explosive?

Re:I don't get it (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39813673)

How do you REALLY know that that white powder is cocaine and not an explosive?

Simple. If the terrist throws it up in the air and tries to flick a lighter into it, it's explosive. If he throws it up in the air and yells "PARTY HARD", it's cocaine!

Re:I don't get it (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39813507)

I'm annoyed by the TSA as much as the next guy, but it's their job to screen people and baggage for threats to aircraft (snow globes, nail clippers, pasta sauce, hand grenades etc.). Since when is it their job to detect drugs? That's the job of the police, not the TSA. Cocaine and meth are not threats to aircraft.

So you're suggesting that the corrupt TSA agents would have thoroughly checked the drug smuggler's bags to be sure that it was cocaine and not explosives or weaponized anthrax?

Re:I don't get it (1)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813767)

I'm not suggesting we shouldn't bust corrupt TSA screeners. I *am* suggesting that it's not their job to catch people moving drugs around the country. That's what law enforcement are for, not rent-a-cops with dollar store badges.

Re:I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39813563)

Its called a catch all. The same thing with the patriot act. Hasn't stopped a single terrorist, but has a lot of drug dealers.

Bad Guys (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39813027)

Why do all the Bad Guys get caught "IN" TSA rather than "BY" TSA?

Call Your Doctors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39813033)

Clearly we must install scales at all security check points. If your measured weight is more than slightly off your medically recorded weight, you'll have to go through a more extensive security screening.

Weakest link (2)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813061)

I've always thought this is one of the biggest holes in the entire system -- all a terrorist has to do is bribe one of the thousands of screeners (or a few of them) in some small airport anywhere in the country, and the terrorist can fly his 10 pound bomb to JFK or any other large airport.

The screener will think he's getting paid $25,000 in cash to smuggle in some drugs, he doesn't even have to know it's a bomb.

I have a solution: (1)

Adaeniel (1315637) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813079)

Obviously, we're not paying the TSA agents enough money to do their jobs. If we provided them with ample salaries, they would never resort to these underhanded methods to earn a little extra on the side. Problem solved. /s

think of the children (1)

Eponymous Hero (2090636) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813271)

If ten pounds of anything can get onto a plane by the simple expedient of bribery, please explain again why adult travelers, but not children, must remove their shoes as they stand massed in an unsecured part of a typical U.S. aiport.

you're misinformed:

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/trending-now/tsa-under-fire-mistreatment-7-old-girl-cerebral-164507761.html [yahoo.com]

and this from earlier today on /.

http://politics.slashdot.org/story/12/04/26/0352242/tsa-defends-pat-down-of-4-year-old-girl [slashdot.org]

Young or Obese with cause? (1)

achowe (829564) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813393)

How can a 4yr girl of average height & weight (36 pounds = 16.3293253 Kg)
could walk with 10 pounds of anything, a third of her weight, and be a threat
before she fall over is sure proof that America's TSA are zealots without a
clue. Reference /. earlier report today about groping a 4yr old; add McCarthy
"witch hunts", and Spanish Inquisition (sans pillows). There are bad people
in the world, even more zealots with good intentions, but without wisdom
and temperance.

Terminal? (4, Funny)

su5so10 (2542686) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813405)

How could it be a terminal mixup if no one died?

More TSA agents convicted than all air travelers (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39813433)

Since the TSA was founded, more TSA agents have been convicted of felonies than air travelers have.

Strictly by the numbers, the TSA should be disbanded.

The Israelis have a very effective system based on profiling.

The Russians have a very effective system based on killing every hijacker and doing the reverse of what they request.

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