Next time some TSA apologist says, “Thanks to the TSA, we haven’t had to sustain another terrorist attack,” just think about this story of how these agents tried smuggling meth through the airport.
They weren’t TSA agents, per se, since at the San Francisco International Airport, the TSA contracts security out to a private company called Covenant Aviation Security. CAS works airport security for a few other airports around the country.
For all practical purposes though, they are the TSA. Except instead of “TSA” being embroidered on their blue uniforms, it’s “CAS.” They have to operate under TSA rules. And besides that, they look the same, and they act the same (well, maybe slightly better).
These agents are so easily bought off. They just need some cash, and they’ll do anything for anyone. The feds are always sending undercover agents to bribe security agents to catch them in the commission of a crime in a sting operation. Undercover agents have successfully bought off TSA agents to smuggle drugs, weapons, large amounts of cash, and explosives through the airport. Since it’s that easy to breach the TSA’s “security,” I’m quite surprised that a terrorist attack hasn’t happened yet. The San Francisco CBS affiliate reported:
Two security screeners at San Francisco International Airport were arrested and arraigned today on charges of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and accepting a bribe from a third suspect, who is also in federal custody.
The alleged smuggling operation was coordinated, at least in part, through Facebook messages, which are quoted extensively in the criminal complaint filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.
San Francisco resident Claudio Rene Sunux, 30, and South San Francisco resident Amanda Lopez, 27, were working as security screeners as contractors for the Transportation Security Administration, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The morning of September 17, FBI agents provided Anibal Giovanni Ramirez, a 28-year-old San Francisco resident, with two pieces of luggage containing packages filled with 20 pounds of methylsulfonylmethane, a common filler or cutting agent. One of the bags also contained 68.5 grams of pure meth, according to the criminal complaint.
Lopez allegedly overlooked the packages as they were smuggled through a security checkpoint at San Francisco International Airport in exchange for money. Sunux allegedly coordinated the operation, according to the U.S. Attorney.
Ramirez has also been arrested and arraigned.
All three defendants have been charged with conspiracy to distribute meth, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of ten years to life in prison and fines up to $10 million.
Sunux and Lopez have been charged with agreeing to receive a bribe, and Ramirez has been charged with offering to bribe a public official. Those offenses carry a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.
All three defendants are currently in federal custody. Sunux and Lopez are scheduled to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Maria-Elena James on Monday in San Francisco. Ramirez will be in court on Wednesday.
Other agencies involved in this investigation include the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the TSA’s Office of Inspection and the Oakland Police Department and the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force.
It seems like most of the really big crimes we see today are fake crimes committed by federal agents in sting operations. If these FBI agents hadn’t gone through with this operation, would there have been an incident at all?
These sting operations do however shed some light on the character of those in blue uniforms at airports who are charged with protecting America from terrorism. These sting operations turn the TSA into a travesty. Security theater at best. Could a TSA agent turn down lots of cash in the event that somebody tried to smuggle a bomb on a plane? What if it was thousands of dollars?
I would say that the reason we haven’t had to deal with a 9/11-style terrorist attack in the past decade and a half has nothing to do with the TSA. And if we ever do sustain a terrorist attack like that, you’d better believe that someone, somewhere got paid off big time.