Memos Detail TSA Officer’s Cocaine Pranks

Feeling safe yet?

NOVEMBER 2–The Transportation Security Administration worker who earlier this year was canned for falsely claiming to have discovered cocaine in the luggage of travelers was a bomb appraisal officer who was supposed to be evaluating new screening equipment at the time he was pranking his unsuspecting targets, records show.

TSA documents released in response to a Freedom of Information Act request provide further details about the January incidents at the Philadelphia International Airport. The name of the bomb appraisal officer has been redacted from the material, though one memo indicates that when the worker was confronted, “He did say humbly that he was completely wrong and he made a mistake.”

The TSA officer was working near a passenger screening checkpoint “collecting data for several new pieces of equipment that are currently being evaluated by Northrop Grumman,” according to a TSA memo. Since individual data collection phases could each take up to ten minutes, the worker apparently decided to fill up the time by pranking travelers: “While the data was being collected,” the bomb appraisal officer “began to engage passengers.”

4 Comments

  1. I’ve heard stories of people checking their luggage who were asked, “do you have any weapons or explosives in your bags?” and jokingly answered, “yeah, a gun.” They were arrested and hauled away. This idiot’s lucky he only got fired. I’m surprised that not one of those people that he approached have tried to sue him and/or the airline.

    1. I thought the same thing…

      It should be the case that those in a position of authority are held to a higher standard. Murder someone, get 10 years. Police officer murders someone, gets 12 years.

      Passenger jokes around in an airport: Felony
      Airport security jokes around in an airport: Bigger felony

      Of course, for that to work you’d have to ignore the whole reality of security theater and assume that all TSA workers were sufficiently trained and qualified…

    2. Actually, you can check a bag with a gun as long as you declare it. They then lock your bag and it cannot be opened until you arrive at your destination. Because many people worry about losing their bags or workers snooping in them, they often pack a starter pistol so that they can declare it and have their bags locked.

      So any story about someone being hauled away for declaring there’s a gun in their checked bag is an urban myth or a very very uncommon and gross violation of carrier rules.

  2. Now shut up and walk into the strip search scanning machine.

    Oh, it won’t retain any permanent images. Can’t say the same about the cel-phone cameras owned by the TSA knuckle-draggers, but that’s got nowt to do with us.

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