Three San Francisco International Airport security officers are facing several charges after authorities discovered they were helping to smuggle cocaine through the airport’s security, the Justice Department announced Friday.
Joseph Scott, 35, a former transportation security officer supervisor, Jessica Scott, 27, also a transportation security officer supervisor, and Michael Castaneda, 32, a former lead transportation security officer were all arrested. According to the indictment, the trio collected money to turn their heads the other way while drug traffickers walked through security with both real and simulated cocaine in carry-on bags, but what the security screeners failed to realize was that the “drug trafficking” was actually part of an undercover operation by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the TSA Office of Inspection.
The TSA officers were charged with conspiring to defraud the TSA by obstructing a lawful government function, which warrants up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. They are also charged with conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine, which lands them a minimum of 10 years in prison and a maximum life sentence, along with a whopping fine of up to $10 million.