Two former Transportation Security Administration screeners plead guilty on Tuesday to charges of taking bribes to smuggle drugs through LAX.
Authorities claim the conspiracy between the drug couriers and TSA employees began in November 2010. TSA agents were offered about $500 to clear each bag containing marijuana through security. They would instruct the suspected drug smugglers on how to “properly pack the marijuana so it would not trigger alarms on TSA’s explosive detection system,” according to court documents. And, in case a package did set off the alarm, the TSA agent would manually screen the bag and clear it.
One TSA agent, who was terminated as employee in October 2011, allegedly conspired with drug smugglers on nine separate occasions. And, another employee, who also resigned from the TSA last October, cleared bags through security at least two times.
A third person, who allegedly smuggled marijuana to Boston, was also charged Tuesday, who plead guilty on similar charges on July 2.
All five defendants are scheduled to make their initial appearance in federal court on Aug. 14. They could face up to five years in federal prison.