April 26, 2012- On Wednesday four people, two former and two current Transportation Security Administration screeners faced charges of bribery and drug trafficking for allegedly allowing speed, marijuana and cocaine to go through checkpoints at the Los Angeles International Airport.
The new indictment covers five occasions where the TSA screeners allegedly received payments of as much as $2,400 in exchange for allowing a suitcase of drugs to go through the X-ray machines unnoticed.
“The allegations describe a substantial breakdown in the security screening system via the conduct of a few people who put greed before the security needs of the nation,” said Andre Birotte Jr., U.S. Attorney.
On both Tuesday and Wednesday, the accused were arrested. John Whitfield is from Los Angeles and is one of the current screeners. He has been charged with allowing close to 4 kilograms of methamphetamines and 20 kilos of cocaine through security. Capeline McKinny, also of Los Angeles and a current screener, was charged for allowing the same cocaine through security.
Naral Richardson was fired in 2010 by TSA and is accused of being the orchestrator of the five incidents between February and July 2010. Joy White, from Compton, was fired in 2011 by TSA and is charged with allowing the cocaine to pass freely through security checkpoints.
One other individual, Duane Eleby is expected to turn himself into authorities sometime Thursday. He tried to take drugs through a checkpoint, but entered the wrong line and the drugs were subsequently seized. The alleged courier, Stephen Bayliss, is in custody, while another courier, Terry Cunningham is being sought by authorities.