LA Airport Screeners Arrested for Drug Bribery

April 25, 2012 Updated: April 29, 2012

Several former and current Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screeners were arrested and charged on Wednesday for allegedly allowing drug-filled luggage to pass through the security checkpoint at the Los Angeles International Airport in exchange for bribes, it was reported.

The screeners allegedly received as much as $2,400 to allow suitcases filled with cocaine, methamphetamines, and marijuana through security. One was arrested Tuesday night, with the other three picked up Wednesday morning, according to a statement by the office of the U.S. attorney for the Central District of California.

“The allegations in this case describe a significant breakdown of the screening system through the conduct of individuals who placed greed above the nation’s security needs,” U.S. Attorney André Birotte Jr. said in a statement.

Officials said the drug-smuggling scheme was carried out between February and July 2011. In one incident, smugglers attempted to bring more than 10 pounds of cocaine through a security checkpoint, but they went through the wrong one and their cache was seized.