Two former and two current Transportation Security Administration employees have been arrested and indicted on drug conspiracy charges for allegedly allowing large amounts of cocaine and other drugs to pass through security screening at Los Angeles International Airport last year.
Seven people face drug-related charges in a 22-count indictment unsealed Wednesday in Los Angeles federal court. Other charges include paying and receiving bribes by a government official.
The indictment says 30-year-old Naral Richardson orchestrated five incidents where TSA screeners agreed to waive narcotics through security checkpoints. In exchange, some of the screeners were allegedly paid as much as $2,400 for their involvement. The alleged incidents occurred from early February 2011 to July 2011, the release said, citing the indictment.
"This case underscores the unique nature of 21st century drug smuggling," Briane M. Grey, acting special agent in charge of the DEA in Los Angeles. "Here, the defendants traded on their positions at one the world's most crucial airport security checkpoints, used their special access for criminal ends, and compromised the safety and security of their fellow citizens for their own profit."
Randy Parsons, TSA's security director at LAX, says the agency is disappointed about the arrests but it's committed to holding its employees to the highest standards.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.