Surveillance footage from Miami International Airport has captured evidence of TSA agents at screening checkpoints pilfering passenger baggage and stealing valuables while passengers undergo security checks.
The investigation came after passengers filed reports about missing items that were stolen, and the CCTV system was able to prove conclusively that several agents were involved in the scheme to systematically pilfer bags on the belt.
Airport security screening operations haven’t exactly enjoyed a lot of positive reporting and reputation in recent years as accusations of officer misconduct, theft, and negligence often pop up in the media.
Not only does the TSA routinely miss dangerous items such as weapons and ammunition in passenger baggage but to steal from the property that is undergoing screening is really low.
As NBC reports, the three agents were arrested back in July and two of them are now facing charges.
New surveillance footage appears to show Transportation Security Administration officers at Miami International Aiport going through travelers’ bags and allegedly stealing money during security screenings.
Two TSA agents are facing charges in the alleged thefts following their arrests in July.
Josue Gonzalez and Labarrius Williams are facing grand theft charges. A third TSA agent was initially arrested but had her charges dropped.
According to arrest reports, authorities started investigating thefts that had occurred at the airport’s Security Checkpoint E.
Gonzalez was accepted into a state program where if he successfully completes it, his charges will get dropped.
For the next six months, Gonzalez must pay $700 to the two victims involved and he must do 25 hours of community service and give up his airport security credentials.
As for Williams, he was denied entry into the same program so he will head to trial.
So only ONE OF THREE officers involved in this theft scheme will actually go to trial while one got off completely scot-free (even after confessing to the charges), and another will receive a state program rehabilitation and then have his charges dropped entirely. So much for criminal justice in Florida. Well, I guess it could have been much worse in other parts of the country where they all would have walked.
Here is a video from the Daily Caller, showing ABC News footage outlining how far TSA and airport employee theft has spread throughout the system – it’s shocking!
There is really nothing else to say about this as far as their guilt is concerned. What happened here is obvious and was caught on tape. Videos don’t lie.
It shows how brazen these people are, committing the crimes right under the eyes of the CCTV. Airports and checkpoints specifically are extensively surveilled for good reason. Yet it still didn’t appear to be a deterrence.
Those wearing a badge and being entrusted with enforcing laws and securing the public’s safety should be held to a much higher standard and receive tougher punishment than a common criminal on the street who steals something at Walgreens.
What message does this send to the public, other TSA officers, and the DHS apparatus? These criminals should be severely punished and not get white-glove treatment by prosecutors and the courts.
It’s also a wake-up call for passengers, and one should remember to never leave valuables easily accessible while undergoing the screening process. Keep an eye on your belongings as much as possible. Refuse to get into the screening line when the baggage is piled up in a long queue and is out of your sight.
The same goes for checked baggage. Valuables like money, jewelry, and modern electronics do not belong in checked baggage. They also won’t be covered by insurance or the airline if something goes missing. To prevent theft is not only the task of authorities but also travelers themselves and self-awareness in such situations is paramount in order to prevent finding oneself in a situation like this.