12 TSA Agents Just Indicted For Smuggling $100 Million Worth Of Cocaine

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Carey Wedler via TheAntiMedia.org,

The Department of Justice announced Monday that 12 former and current TSA (Transportation Safety Administration) employees were indicted for smuggling 20 tons, or $100 million worth of cocaine out of Puerto Rico over the course of an 18-year operation. This is not the first time TSA agents have been caught running drugs or breaking other laws.

According to a DOJ press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Puerto Rico:

During the course of the conspiracy, the defendants smuggled suitcases, each containing at least 8 to 15 kilograms of cocaine, through the TSA security system at the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (LMMIA). Sometimes as many as five mules were used on each flight, with each mule checking-in up to two suitcases. From 1998 through 2016, the defendants helped smuggle approximately 20 tons of cocaine through LMMIA.”

Though initial reports indicated the operation spanned from 2008 to 2016 and moved 1,500 kilograms of cocaine, the ongoing investigation apparently unearthed an additional ten years of misconduct (considering the TSA has only existed since 2001, Anti-Media has contacted the DOJ for clarification on how the operation worked from 1998-2001 and will update this article should they respond).

The Puerto Rican TSA agents were indicted by a federal grand jury on February 8 and charged with “conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine,” according to Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico.

According to DOJ press release, six current and former employees, José Cruz-López, Luis Vázquez-Acevedo, Keila Carrasquillo, Carlos Rafael Adorno-Hiraldo, Antonio Vargas-Saavedra, and Daniel Cruz-Echevarría worked as TSA screeners who monitored both checked and carry-on luggage. They “allegedly smuggled multi-kilogram quantities of cocaine while employed as TSA Officers at the San Juan airport.”

Luis Vázquez-Acevedo and two other defendants acted as facilitators between TSA employees and the cocaine supplier, an airport security employee. Another defendant, Javier Ortiz, worked for the Airport Aviation Services as a baggage handler and ramp employee. He would “pick up suitcases he know contained cocaine from the mules at the airline check in counter” and place the suitcases into X-ray machines manned by TSA agents involved in the scheme. He would then take the suitcases to their designated flights, making sure no narcotic K-9 unit or law enforcement personnel were present when the suitcase went from the checkpoint to the airplane.” Ortiz would then place a call to the drug trafficking organization, and mules would then board the plane.

The investigation into this drug trafficking operation was initiated by the TSA and the DEA. The two agencies are also collaborating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the U.S. Marshals, and the police of Puerto Rico.

Though it appears on the surface that the agencies in charge are taking swift action to punish the perpetrators, the case reveals a deeper issue with current airport security. First, it took the TSA over a decade to discover the operation. Officials expressed enthusiasm that they successfully used the AirTat initiative, a multi-agency project launched in 2015 with the goal of targeting transnational crime. Still, it took another two years to discover an elaborate, established drug trafficking ring reliant on employees within the very government agency tasked with weeding out crime.

This is hardly the first time TSA agents have been caught smuggling drugs. In 2016, a Charlotte, North Carolina, agent was caught smuggling narcotics. In 2015, an agent at Oakland International Airport was discovered smuggling marijuana. In 2014, an agent at Los Angeles International Airport was sentenced for participating in a drug trafficking ring.

The agents indicted in the Puerto Rico case face a minimum of ten years in prison for their “conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine.” Though there is no shortage of evidence that TSA agents are frequently incompetent and often criminal — from stealing passengers’ luggage to sexually harassing travelers — the broader takeaway of the ongoing investigation and prosecution is the failure of the war on drugs.

Regardless of how much effort government agencies exert in their attempts to stem the flow of narcotics, their missions undoubtedly come up short and fail to curb demand for drugs or efforts to deliver them.

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evoila's picture

toot smuggling administration

froze25's picture

I hope they searched their anal cavities just for the sake of good irony.

1980XLS's picture

What about the Hookers?

Stackers's picture

It took 18 years to build the case against them ?

Alt headline: DOJ allows 20 tons of cocain to be smuggled in via botched 18 year sting operation

froze25's picture

Sounds about right to me.

greenskeeper carl's picture

Sure, a few of them may smuggle some cocaine every now and then, but at least they catch a bunch of terrorists.....right?


oh, wait..

froze25's picture

My favorite South Park episode and totally fitting for this article. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZCEq8jy5-M (15 seconds)

Twee Surgeon's picture

Experts estimate that , that is enough Blow to go around the planet 3 times. With a Hooker every 17 feet (est.) or 640,317 Hookers, It would take a grown man 412 years to complete the voyage.

sixsigma cygnusatratus's picture

I feel safer already.  If you ask me, it's crazy to be a criminal in the private sector.  The public sector is where all the real money is.

BennyBoy's picture


18 years and 20 tons of coke?!

How fucking stupid and slow are the DEA!

Son of Loki's picture

Obama's TSA...


sadly, the media barely covers it since it's on Soweeto, their lover boy.

Crush the cube's picture

They should have known to quit when the pipeline to the white house stopped suddenly.

shovelhead's picture

It aint easy because all those Puerto Ricans all look alike.

PT's picture

Perhaps they were waiting for one of their friends to retire.

Al Gophilia's picture

I feel utterly violated. Thanks .gov.

greenskeeper carl's picture

One of my favorites as well. The first time I saw that, I said "the guys who wrote this HAD to have spent some time in the atlanta airport" nearly every woman in there looks and talks like that.

wee-weed up's picture

TSA Agents should NOT be government workers!

knukles's picture

Yeah, but there were the Clintons (coke via Mena) the Bush years (CIA a la Afghan fields) and then The Choomster?
No wonder nobody was prosecuted.  Especially the real evil malefactor bulk importers.
I understand why.  Y'all need something done to show the war on drugs is working and a few TSA flunkies fit the bill.

Shemp 4 Victory's picture

At least the CIA's Afghani heroin is still getting through.

For the children.

froze25's picture

The war on drugs is a scam, if you are an adult and want to do them, well as long as you don't harm anyone in the process I don't care. Its not as if people that want them aren't getting them now. Heroin is the cheapest and purest its ever been (when adjusted for inflation). All that would change is that the Criminals would lose a very valuable source of income (as well as CIA dark ops)

beemasters's picture

The CIA has to kill the competitors.

11th_Harmonic's picture

*Notes from a recent group conversation concerning a local "Opium Epidemic" news article...

[associate] "So when did heroin become such an issue?"

[11_H] "Correlate it with clandestine US/Afghani intelligence operations."


cowdiddly's picture

What happened, one of Mitch McConnel's ships run aground?

skepsis101's picture

Off with their heads!   And I mean all of them.  From Cheney down to the lowest mule!!!!

YouJustMadeTheList's picture
YouJustMadeTheList (not verified) Stackers Feb 15, 2017 5:08 PM

The [other] $200 billion is still safe at the Bush/Clinton compound in Paraguay

krispkritter's picture

Department of Just(wait a damn DECADE or TWO even!).

El Oregonian's picture

TSA = Tons Smuggled Aboard

trutherator's picture

Please change that avatar. Yuck.

trutherator's picture

Please change that avatar. Yuck.

krispkritter's picture

If there is any Karma, they'll shit themselves everytime they hear a rubber glove snap, where they're going anyways.

junction's picture

"Only 20 tons? Rank amateurs!"

                              George H.W. Bush

snr-moment's picture

explains why they always wanted my shoes

krispkritter's picture

Guess that beats stealing IPADs. And BTW, the CIA hates competition.

knukles's picture

And all of a sudden with the advent of a new president, there are actions being taken against the universal lawlessness pervading or is this just my wishful thinking. 

WillyGroper's picture

between the pedo busts/illegals & now this, it would appear someone is trying to cut off the black budget.

flynn being the first living casualty.

Nobs Here's picture

My God. The Clintons have not suicided Flyn. Even his honest son! Gives me hope the end is near for the Clinton/Bush cartel.

Or just wishful thinking from some Oath Keeper. Still standing down, but it feels short lived. I suspect Pence will assasinate Trump and the shit will hit the fan.

Right now a clean slate is looking better by the minute.

Mena Arkansas's picture

Banker: How you gonna pay us back the money you borrowed?

Puerto Rico: I dunno.

Banker: Ever heard of cocaine?


WTFUD's picture

Another CIA Black-Op exposed, darn! A lot of folks must have turned their heads over a 16 year period. Let's see if we can spin this on those pesky Russians.

juicy_bananas's picture

The Cocaine Import Agency 

buzzsaw99's picture

if obama had a son...

Arnold's picture

Twenty fucking tons?

No hood rat eva worked that hard.

krispkritter's picture

Sheeeit.  That was getting his mother and 8 baby mama's off the sofa when his cell phone fell between the cushions.