TSA Workers Helped Puerto Rico CARTEL Smuggle $100M of Cocaine

It’s not like government jobs don’t pay enough these days.

TSA drug smugglingAccording to the Free Beacon, government jobs pay 78 percent more than the private sector.

Employees for the federal government earn far more than their counterparts in the private sector, according to a new study by the Cato Institute.

Federal workers’ pay and benefits were 78 percent higher than private employees, who earned an average of $52,688 less than public sector workers last year.

You’d think with this pay rate, government workers would be satisfied, but some are not; certainly not TSA.

According to prosecutors, drug cartels partnered with U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) workers to smuggle 20 tons of cocaine into the United States across more than a decade.

TSA Drug Smuggling

TSA workers and airport employees were among 12 people indicted February 8 in the District of Puerto Rico for drug possession with intent to distribute. Fox News reported that TSA workers used their positions as baggage screeners to wave massive amounts of coke through security checkpoints.

These individuals were involved in a conspiracy to traffic massive quantities of illegal narcotics to the continental United States,” U.S. Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Velez said.

The defendants include six current and former TSA employees: José Cruz-López, Luis Vázquez-Acevedo, Keila Carrasquillo, Carlos Rafael Adorno-Hiraldo, Antonio Vargas-Saavedra, and Daniel Cruz-Echevarría.  All were security and baggage screeners for outbound flights.  Their co-conspirators include Edwin Francisco Castro, Luis Vázquez-Acevedo, and Ferdinand López, facilitators between drug trafficking organizations and TSA employees.  Miguel Ángel Pérez-Rodríguez was identified as the cocaine supplier.  The ring also included baggage handler Javier Ortiz.

tsa-standing-guardAn 18-Year Conspiracy

In 1998, the suspects began smuggling 15 kilograms per suitcase of cocaine through security checkpoints at Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in San Juan. Up to five smugglers per flight checked 1-2 suitcases filled with drugs. Over 18 years, this ring brought 20 tons of cocaine worth approximately $100 million into the United States.

While TSA workers were probing granny’s wheelchair, and baby Jane’s lil booties for chemical weapons, these enemy combatants usurped American security by taking it over.

It’s a wonder more terrorist attacks haven’t happened via America’s airports.

The charges point to an insider threat, a congressional source told Fox News. He added that suspects could have smuggled explosives instead of drugs. Thus, one has to wonder what the price was to smuggle in terror, since TSA seems to not have cared about the impact of drugs.

Further, to keep this ring going for 18 year, you can bet that payoffs went up the ladder.

These arrests come in the wake of last week’s House Homeland Security report that found gross irregularities in employee screening at major airports, according to Fox News.

After nearly two years of oversight efforts, the Subcommittee found that a majority of airports do not have full employee screening at secure access points,” the report stated.  “These airports are unable to demonstrate the security effectiveness of their existing employee screening efforts, which consist largely of randomized screening by TSA officers or airport law enforcement personnel.”

Airport employees are not being screened as vigorously as airline passengers are. The arrests of these drug smugglers exposed another soft target for terror threats: America’s airports.

House Committee on Homeland Security member John Katko (R-NY), told Fox News on Monday:

The fact of the matter is, when people go to an airport to get on an airplane, they go through a tremendous amount of security.  [Federal] employees [working at these airports] do not.  And that’s got to change.”

Congressman Katko also stated that TSA workers have a lot of access but not nearly enough scrutiny.  In one case, a man ran over 100 loaded guns on airplanes from Atlanta to New York in his backpack. It was discovered that a TSA friend helped him bypass security checkpoints at the Atlanta airport.

Two bills that would plug this security breach are HR-3102 and HR-2750. HR-3102 would tighten up employee security access controls at airports. Next, HR-2750 advocates better vetting of airport employees in the hiring process.

Both bills passed the house and have been sitting untouched in the Senate since July 2016. Obviously, in light of circumstance, this needs to change.

Since Dems are preoccupied with obstructing President Trump’s cabinet nominees, changes won’t occur right away most likely.

Action Alert: Contact Your Senator

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