TSA Agent Charged With Helping Drug Trafficker Through Security
A TSA Transportation Security Administration (TSA) behavioral detection agent was arrested and charged with helping an alleged drug kingpin and others evade security at the Buffalo Niagra International Airport, officials told AOL Travel News.
Minetta Walker, 43, of Buffalo is suspected of letting an alleged marijuana trafficker travel under a bogus name and of waving him through a body scanner at the Buffalo airport, according to U.S. Attorney William Hochul Jr. of the Western District of New York. She is also accused of tipping off the dealer to an undercover investigation.
Walker is accused of helping the suspected trafficker, Derek Frank, 30, skate through security at least six times in recent months.
The Buffalo News reports that Walker was being tailed by the FBI when an agent saw her in Frank's utility vehicle on Tuesday. Police said Walker drove the SUV to the airport to pick up the suspected dealer, Frank, who was returning from Arizona.
There are also charges involving Frank associates.
"At this point, she is not accused of smuggling drugs or accepting bribes from drug traffickers," Drug Enforcement Agency agent Dale Kasprzyk told the Buffalo News . "The charge against her is that she provided assistance to people, who we believe are traffickers, to help them move large amounts of cash through the airport."
Walker, who has worked for the TSA since 2002, is no longer performing screening duties.
TSA spokesman Greg Soule says the agency is working "very closely" with law enforcement on the investigation.
Just last month, two TSA officers at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport were charged with stealing $39,000 in cash from a passenger's luggage.
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