The TSA Continues to Excel

Evil, or stupid? Embrace the power of “and”!

Excellence, TSA style, is in the news again, this time for its agents’ merry participation in a cocaine smuggling ring that has been running through Puerto Rico since prior to the misbegotten agency’s existence.

Not surprisingly, the smugglers found that TSA employees, far from threatening the criminal enterprise, were delighted to join in.

A dozen airport and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) employees have been arrested for their alleged involvement in a massive cocaine smuggling operation in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Monday.

The defendants are accused of helping smuggle approximately 20 tons of cocaine through Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport over the course of 18 years, from 1998 to 2016.

The operation allegedly involved employees smuggling suitcases through TSA checkpoints at the airport and onto flights, with as many as five mules on some flights and with each mule checking two suitcases in some cases.

Six current and former TSA screening officers have been indicted in the case for their alleged role in smuggling cocaine through X-ray machines and onto airplanes without detection.

Since named TSA employees have been indicted, you know that this wasn’t a TSA internal investigation. TSA never prosecutes its own, no matter how heinous the crime, under the flimsy excuse that to punish insiders would risk exposing “critical security procedures.” So when you see a TSA goon standing in the dock, it’s not just to check that the defendant’s place is level (which you can tell, because the TSAnik drools evenly from both sides of his mouth). It’s because some other agency caught him.

An Airport Aviation Services worker, who was a baggage handler and ramp employee, is charged with paying TSA employees to clear the suitcases stuffed with cocaine; taking the suitcases to their designated flights; and giving a drug trafficking organization member the “all clear” for mules to board the plane.

“These individuals were involved in a conspiracy to traffic massive quantities of illegal narcotics to the continental United States,” Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, U.S. Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico, said in a statement. “These arrests demonstrate the success of the AirTAT initiative, which has successfully allocated a dedicated group of state and federal law enforcement officers, whose mission is to ensure that our airports are not used in the drug traffickers’ illicit businesses.”

Now TSA is claiming that they uncovered this inside ring themselves, but we know from the charging of TSA criminals that such was not the case. So who was it, really?

The Drug Enforcement Agency is in charge of the investigation, in collaboration with the FBI, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations, the U.S. Marshals and Puerto Rican police.

Three Federal agencies and the PR cops made it too big for TSA’s usual under-the-rug treatment.

The TSA has dealt with a number of high-profile security lapses at airports in recent years, including a gun-smuggling operation uncovered at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in 2015.

via TSA employees arrested for cocaine smuggling operation in Puerto Rico | TheHill.

So, at least in this case, we should be glad that they were just smuggling drugs, and not guns. Or were they? Puerto Rico still clings to pre-Heller gun control, and yet has a high level of armed crime. Where are the guns coming from?

If the answer is, “through a TSA smuggling ring,” we know that the one agency that will never expose the ring is the TSA itself.

Once again, we have evidence of the Fundamental Law of TSA: No one good, decent, honest, competent, moral, ethical or intelligent has ever been employed at TSA in any capacity whatsoever.

14 thoughts on “The TSA Continues to Excel

  1. Tom Stone

    Another gift from the “War on Drugs”.
    Mexico turned into a Narco State, millions incarcerated, the 4th Amendment gutted ( Asset forfeitures in 2014 totaled more than Burglars stole that year), US Law Enforcement corrupted, vicious criminals enriched to the tune of hundreds of Billions of Dollars…and Drugs are available in every city and town in the USA. Perhaps it’s time for a different approach?

    1. Aesop

      “Shoot them in the head” seems to work splendidly in every nation where it’s tried, with a recidivism rate of 0%.
      It also helps US ammunition manufacturers, as well as local funeral homes and cemeteries, while simultaneously easing the court backlog and prison overflow drastically. For less than $1/case.

      Vote Yes on Proposition .308.

  2. Aesop

    The defendants are accused of helping smuggle approximately 20 tons of cocaine through Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport over the course of 18 years, from 1998 to 2016.

    The height of overachieving is for TSA @$$clowns to be smuggling cocaine through P.R. starting 4 years before their agency even existed.
    Those aren’t plank owners, they’re blueprint owners.

    So, per policy, are they being reassigned, or simply promoted?

    1. Aesop

      No, that would take an act of Congress.

      But he can unilaterally declare it a national park, and require the NPS to vacate it.

      At that point, I’m torn between relocating the populace to the US Virgin Islands, or Gitmo combined with a boatlift to Greater Cuba. Let Fidelistan entertain their cousins for a century or so.

    2. TRX

      Not by Executive Order. That would take both Congress and the PR government working together. And you have to remember that Puerto Ricans are “natural born US citizens” by law.

      They have another statehood referendum coming up this year; if the vote goes the way the pollsters are claiming, there’ll be 51 stars on the flag once all the details are sorted out.

      After Alaska and Hawaii moved from territories to states, most people assumed PR, Guam, the Marianas, and Samoa would follow shortly after. I’ve seen a number of opinions about why, but I’m guessing it was originally some kind of Cold War maneuvering that became the status quo over time.

      1. Aesop

        Yes, by Executive Order.
        The President has been given that authority under US Code.
        You could look it up.

        As for PR becoming a state, don’t hold your breath; just because they want in, don’t bet on the other 50 states wanting to let them in.
        And they’d lose all their tax benefits, overnight.

        We’d be as likely to let Baja California into the union.

        With Castro dead, we’d be more inclined to tell them “Hey, you can use the Constitution if you want, it’s public domain. So here’s your walking papers, and best wishes on your independence.”

        1. Hognose Post author

          Statehood has never passed or even come very close, even when charismatic PR politicians have been pushing it. Right now, citizens of Puerto Rico have the best of both worlds, many of the benefits and few of the responsibilities of citizenship. (That said, I believe that they serve in the armed services in much higher numbers than many other ethnic groups).

          There’s a lot of Puerto Ricans in SF. They generally have a harder time communicating with South Americans than guys who learned classroom Spanish! Which everybody (especially the foreigners) finds hilarious.

  3. kaf

    The real question here is this: Who ratted these guys out?

    Maybe I’m just a cynic, but I’m guessing it wasn’t crack detective work that broke this case after 18 years.

  4. James

    hmmmm…..,the war on drugs continues the drug/cop/court/prison cartels,and yet,the prices of cocaine and herion have dropped,perhaps time to end this insanity and if people want to use drugs/perhaps die so be it.

    Or,stop the hypocrisy and outlaw alcohol and tobacco,oh,and end the pharmaceutical poisoning of children.

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