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Friday, November 6, 2015

SFO Security Agents Indicted for Smuggling Drugs Through Airport Checkpoints

Posted By on Fri, Nov 6, 2015 at 10:02 AM

click to enlarge PAWEL LOJ/FLICKR
  • Pawel Loj/Flickr

In the world of high-stakes drug running, as in prison, it helps to have friends on the inside. It's even better if those friends wear a uniform.

As KTVU reports, three security screeners at San Francisco International Airport allegedly smuggled cocaine through TSA checkpoints for more than a year. The defendants — TSA subcontractors working with Covenant Aviation Security — were responsible for running x-ray machines and inspecting baggage. Between May 2013 and April 2014, however, the trio conspired to push drugs through security on several occasions.

According to federal investigators, one of the defendants would meet drug runners at the airport and direct them to security checkpoints manned by the two other defendants, thereby ensuring a brisk, look-the-other-way inspection.

A sting operation in which two government agents attempted to pass through security with simulated narcotics in their carry-ons caught the defendants in action.

On Tuesday, the three were indicted for conspiracy to defraud the government and conspiracy to distribute and possess five kilograms or more of cocaine, per KTVU. If convicted, they face possible life sentences or fines of up to $10 million.

Last month, in an unrelated incident, a 31-year-old San Jose man was arrested on suspicion of marijuana trafficking after he flew from SFO to Boston, toting a suitcase stuffed with 100 pounds of weed.

It was unclear how he made it through security.

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Jeremy Lybarger

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