Boston TSA Agent Nabbed During Child Pornography Crackdown

The Transportation Security Administration keeps getting hit with scandal after scandal — from thieving agents to employees with ridiculous demands, or those who leave creepy notes in passengers’ bags. And now, in an even ickier development, a TSA agent who worked at Boston’s Logan International Airport has been nabbed as part of a sweeping child pornography crackdown.

The Boston Herald says the man was one of 55 Massachusetts people snared in the effort. He was suspended from his job when his employers became aware of charges against him for the possession and sharing of pornographic images of children.

“TSA has been cooperating fully with our law enforcement partners during the investigation into this matter,” TSA spokeswoman Ann Davis said. “Upon learning of these charges, TSA took immediate action and the individual is not working at the airport.”

The agent’s name came up after representatives of more than 20 Bay State police departments announced the arrest of 32 men in Operation Corral, a weeklong roundup of child pornography suspects across the state. The man wasn’t one of those arrested, but he has been charged.

“This is just a drop in the bucket,” said state police Sgt. Michael Hill of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

He’s not the only TSA agent to have sex charges leveled against him recently, notes the Boston Herald, which raises questions about the TSA’s screening methods for its employees. Not to mention all that thieving and creepy note-leaving.

TSA agent among 55 caught in kid porn net [Boston Herald]

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  1. crispyduck13 says:

    “which raises questions about the TSA’s screening methods for its employees”

    Hell, from the quality of agents I’ve seen I figured they just put a “HIRING” sign out and took whoever walked in the door.

    • TheMansfieldMauler says:

      That would require them to be able to read, which is discrimination.

    • bhr says:

      When the TSA was first starting out my employer contracted to use our computer labs as testing centers for potential TSA employees. There were “Strict” rules that each candidate had to follow to be allowed to test, and we could pull them out of the test for various violations.

      Because my office was close to the labs I was assigned the job as proctor when the instructors were out of the office (against my will) so I relished enforcing the rules. You wouldn’t be surprised by the number of people who didn’t bring the correct ID, couldn’t comprehend basic instructions or tried to outright cheat.

      I would say that about 25% of the people I kicked out would result in a call from their congress critter or government employee friend demanding I allow them to test. Elijah Cummings’ office actually accused me of racism after kicking out one of his staffers’ nephew and refusing him re-entry after he threatened to kick my ass.

      These were the core employees who wound up starting the TSA, often as supervisors. So I have never had a hard time believing every story of incompetence leveled at them.

      • HogwartsProfessor says:

        That doesn’t surprise me at all. I recently took the MERIT exam in my state for a clerical job, and there was a woman who didn’t have her email with her. The email with the test info on it plainly stated that if you got the notification via email, you were REQUIRED to bring it with you (they collected them).

        They let her whiny ass in there anyway. If I ever find out she ended up getting the job I wanted, I will go postal. Fucking bitch. The proctor was a man, so maybe he thought her fat pathetic ass was cute or something.

    • bluline says:

      You don’t even have to be a high school graduate to get a job as a TSA groper. The standards are ridiculously low. In addition, people with high intelligence aren’t suited for the work TSA screeners do because it is so repetitive and boring. Apparently, only people with lesser intellects can do that sort of work. So is it any surprise that these people are not capable of independent thought or able to apply common sense when it comes to enforcing many of the rules?

    • fs2k2isfun says:

      Actually they recruit on pizza boxes and at gas stations. I wish I were making that up.

    • larissa_j says:

      No no no no, you need to be able to frisk and molest old ladies and little chlidren. SKILLS are required!

    • scoosdad says:

      Wow, tough crowd.

  2. AllanG54 says:

    Pete Townsend got snagged for this in Britain a few years back too. You don’t have to be a TSA agent to be a lowlife.

    • Coleoptera Girl says:

      Yeah, but you’d expect the TSA to do everything in their power to keep pedophiles out of their ranks, considering that one of their jobs is to rub down children who alarm the metal detector or whole-body imaging machine.

      • AllanG54 says:

        True, but do you think anyone would confess to being a pedophile and how do you find out if someone actually is one until you discover it AFTER the fact.

        • Coleoptera Girl says:

          You hit on a very important issue. I’m afraid my answer is only applicable to the TSA and is unlikely to be implemented in the near future… Remove the WBI machines and “enhanced” pat-downs. We aren’t catching but a tiny bit more now than we were pre-TSA. Look at the TSA blog and nearly all of their “good finds” were or would have been found by simple metal detector walk-through and bag x-ray.

          • Coleoptera Girl says:

            I don’t care if the TSA accidentally hires a pedophile, so long as no TSA agents are touching children.

    • Captain Spock says:

      He claims it was just for research, and to his credit he did have essays on his site the year before decrying the availability of child porn. Might have been a smokescreen though…

    • Jawaka says:

      Exactly. This place just has certain targets that it loves to hate and TSA agents is one of them. People will take advantage of every opportunity to criticize a TSA agent whether it’s warranted or not.

      I mean jeez, since when is it any employer’s responsibility to monitor what an employee does on their own time at their own home?

  3. smo0 says:

    Hah! I think it’s blown up because it’s the TSA.

    Honestly, at my last job with UPS – there were two, class 3, registered sex offenders and we were withing walking distance of a school and daycare center.

    Some one even brought it up to HR – they did nothing.

    I think it’s funny, in general, how any of these people have jobs in this economy – when there are thousands of non-criminals, especially non RSO’s out of work.

    Maybe it’s because they are the ones who had the 4 year degree are the honest joe’s didn’t.

    • crispyduck13 says:

      Meh, I don’t think you should be precluded from employment because you have a criminal record. What is the point of serving your sentence in jail and then being released to the public if you’re going to be unemployed and then likely homeless the rest of your life?

      Might as well have life sentencing for every crime by your logic.

      • Applekid ‚îÄ‚îÄ‚î¨ Ôªø„Éé( „Çú-„Çú„Éé) says:

        To the average person, sex offender is the scarlet letter of expulsion from society.

        We treat murderers pretty well in comparison.

        • smo0 says:

          ^^ pretty much. I think assault crimes of this nature, where the victim is left alive to relive the horror, especially a child – we’re unforgiving.

        • mianne prays her parents outlive the TSA says:

          I agree–to a point. Those who molest children, rape, and other violent crimes need long prison sentences, and very close monitoring if and when they’re released.

          There are far too many RSO out there for total BS reasons though, the high school sweethearts in which one was 19 and the other 17 caught making out; the guy who got caught pleasuring himself at the local porno theater, the homeless person busted for urinating in an alley. In such cases a fine or community service or such might be appropriate–A lifetime scarlet letter, not so much.

      • Doubting thomas says:

        precluded from employment, no. Precluded from running my kid though the nudie scanner, YES!

        If the TSA is what it claims to be then it cannot pout felon in charge of security. There are decisions you make in life that can, should, and do follow you for the rest of your days. Kiddie porn is one of them.

        • crispyduck13 says:

          I wasn’t talking about this weirdo and TSA employment, I was talking about in general and specifically in response to smo0’s generality.

      • smo0 says:

        I don’t think so either – however, it depends on the crime and how you look at it.

        There are fine people, who are decent workers and squeaky clean – maybe they didn’t have the 4 year degree or suck up enough and they lost their job.

        I, personally, think they should be rehired or hired over the ones who have a shady past – especially those who are RSO’s.

        I’m sorry if you molest a child or rape someone – there really is no bouncing back from that – that’s for life.

        It’s not some drunk and stupid flash your penis in a bar – the website put IN DETAIL what they had done, and it involved children….

        • TuxedoCartman says:

          Let me ask you this: which is more important, punishing offenders, or protecting victims? Because the worst possible situation you can have with a sexual predator is when they’re isolated and bored.

          Me? I’d rather have them working, socializing with other adults who can keep an eye on them, and force them into normalcy.

          • framitz says:

            I prefer to see them put in jail FOR EVER so they do no more harm to the innocent.

            • Conformist138 says:

              Locking them all up forever is just so impractical and we can’t afford it. As bad as it is, there are just too many criminals overall to keep all the sex offenders locked up for life. The prison system is being filled to capacity as it is and the US already imprisons a greater percentage of its own population than any other country in the world and we impose harsher sentences pretty much across the board compared to other developed countries. Our crime rates are either the same or worse than most ‘first world’ countries, suggesting “more prison” isn’t working to slow predators down- we lock more up, but the people are still victims at the same rates.

              If we really want to lock up sex offenders for life, we have to make other concessions- removing prison terms for just about any drug offense and a lot of non-violent crimes, and reducing average sentences until they are measured in months instead of years. It won’t ever happen because the US is way too punishment-happy to accept letting the small-time weed dealers out of jail in order to keep someone else in- most people insist they ALL be punished to the max, regardless of that just not being a viable option.

              Remember, if every RSO is in prison for life, and new ones are added each year- that means a lot of people will start piling up, pushing out other types of offenders. In the end, it is always an imperfect balancing act.

    • Gamethyme says:

      It may be blown up because it’s TSA, but only the TSA uses the nude scanners on the general public.

  4. gman863 says:

    Overheard at the Boston airport:

    “Don’t worry, honey. The nice man in the fake policeman’s uniform is going to give you a full body cavity search, that’s all.”

  5. El_Fez says:

    So was this agent the one groping kids in the name of security or was he the one fapping to the nearly naked pictures of kids in the scanner?

  6. samonela says:

    “TSA has been cooperating fully with our law enforcement partners

    I could imagine some actual law enforcement folks getting offended by this statement.

  7. cowboyesfan says:

    Could looking at the porno scanners all day long have caused this?

  8. Raider Duck says:

    Your Tax Dollars at Work©

  9. pot_roast says:

    I won’t pass judgement because we haven’t seen a conviction yet. But regardless, this man’s life is over. These “sweeps” have caught up dozens of innocent people in the past. Look up Operation Ore and Operation Avalanche if you don’t believe me. A Spokane, WA firefighter was caught up in yet another failed “sweep” – completely innocent man that ended up having to sue the state over it. His life was pretty much destroyed after the incident.

    And the police really botched the investigation:
    http://www.theninthcircuit.com/2011/09/02/be-aware-how-identify-theft-led-to-the-wrongful-arrest-for-child-porn/

    Pretty frightening stuff there. While it’s possible that this guy is a grade A creep, it’s still prudent to wait for an actual investigation and trial to take place.

  10. toadboy65 says:

    What kind of people do you expect to apply for a job where you are required to fondle people of all ages all day and rifle through their personal belongings; and where there is not the kind of vetting and psychological testing that police officer candidates endure ? if I was a pervert or thief, I would apply straight away.

    (Sorry for my world record run-on sentence)

  11. dush says:

    Good grief I don’t like TSA but this is ridiculous reporting.
    Why weren’t the occupations of the 54 other perpetrators mentioned and their jobs maligned by inference as well?

    • El_Fez says:

      Because the TSA’s prime mandate consists of touching someone else’s penis and looking at their naked pictures on a scanner?

      • Conformist138 says:

        I have never heard of a good pedophile-detection interview question, though I hear they are making great strides in getting it to come up on urine tests.

        Seriously, the TSA fired the guy when they found out. How much sooner were they expected to know? Or would it be cool if all TSA agents were compelled to submit their personal computers at home for searching, you know, in case of bad stuff.

        I can’t stand the TSA, but we should stick to criticizing them for valid screw ups and incompetence- this one could happen just as easily to any employer.

  12. waicool says:

    tsa gets a bad rap even without the token perverts in their ranks, last time i went thru they pulled me aside for a can of sprite i threw in my carry on at the last minute. the tsa folks were actually pretty cool about it, i think all of the negative press and reports on the tsa keeps these government wonks at their best behavior.

    • msbask says:

      It boggles my mind that these days someone can write “last time i went thru they pulled me aside for a can of sprite i threw in my carry on at the last minute”…….. and end the thought with “the tsa folks were actually pretty cool about it”.

      Pretty cool about what? The freaking can of soda in your bag? What rational, logical person would think that a can of soda would cause ANYONE to raise their eyebrows? What the f*ck has happened to this country?

      [waicool... This is not a diss toward you, I'm just flabbergasted at what sheep we've all become.]

  13. Fisher1949 says:

    There have been 12 TSA screeners arrested for child sex crimes in the last 16 months. Overall there have been 85 TSA workers arrested in that same period. Another TSA screener was sentenced last week for child pornography in Maryland.

    TSA has become a magnet for sex offenders and criminals yet remains in control of our airports and given access to passengers’ bodies and property. John Pistole is responsible for imposing this wholesale assault and molestation on women and children and must be held accountable for this perversity.

    TSA have used fear mongering and arrogance to rob travelers of their dignity and humanity long enough and its time that the people demand sensible security that doesn’t involve fondling children and strip searching grandmothers

  14. SlappyWhite says:

    The fact that the guy worked for the TSA has no bearing. So what? I’m sure there’s a cop, a lawyer, a doctor, and probably a priest in the group as well. Even more frightening, no doubt probably a school teacher.

    Unless the guy walks in the door and announces he’s a pedo, the TSA, nor any job for that matter, will know he likes looking at little kids.

    • Velvet Jones says:

      So if the guy worked as a pediatrician it would also be irrelevant?

      • SlappyWhite says:

        Yea..but he didn’t…so….?

        The key is the headline here implies that somehow the TSA is at fault since once of their employees likes kiddie porn. Not the TSA’s fault at all, and him working there shouldn’t even be an issue.

  15. dirtrat says:

    They are just a bunch of TOOLS! These are not sworn peace officers. Many are wanna be cops.

  16. dirtrat says:

    They are just a bunch of TOOLS! These are not sworn peace officers. Many are wanna be cops who think they have a whole lot more authority than they really have!

  17. Razor512 says:

    Well what do you expect when you create a useless job that grants individuals the ability to grope people of all ages with impunity?

    The position of TSA is practically begging to have pedo’s join, especially considering how hard it is to hold anyone who is in a governmental law enforcement accountable for their actions.

  18. MacUser1986 says:

    The TSA just keeps getting better and better…

  19. Gorbachev says:

    The reason why TSA is on the news for these sort of things all the time is because they employ umpteen people.

    I don’t remember what the exact number is, but it’s a Big F***ing Number.

    Statistically speaking they’re going to have a a lot of creeps.

    Now why exactly do we need to employ umpteen people at a humongous cost to grope others for a living is an interesting issue.

  20. Alliance to Restore the Republic of the United States of America says:

    Innocent until proven guilty and all that, but I’ll take any bad press for the TSA and call it a win. Security theater is money that can be put to better use elsewhere, like education.

  21. Conformist138 says:

    (Disclaimer: we don’t know in this case if this is even true. The courts have to determine that by looking at all the evidence that we don’t have here. But, let’s assume for the sake of argument that there is a random TSA agent who is actually guilty of possessing child porn who was caught in a sweep like this.)

    “He’s not the only TSA agent to have sex charges leveled against him recently, notes the Boston Herald, which raises questions about the TSA’s screening methods for its employees”

    I’m just curious how they would find these things out. I mean, really, how do you find out whether someone is a pedophile or not before you hire them? If anyone knows a good hiring method that would root out pedophiles while not infringing on people’s right to privacy (“Demand access to their homes and computers” isn’t really a legit option), I would like to hear it.

    I know there is a gut reaction connecting “this person is a suspected sexual deviant” and “they work a job where they sees people naked on scanners”, but that ignores the fact that finding out if someone engages in this kind of behavior is nearly impossible in a job interview unless there is an actual criminal record to find. It also ignores that a pedophile would get little no no thrill over seeing the thousands of ADULTS that go through those scanners- many people opt their children out of them.

    There are also cases of pediatricians being caught with child porn or molesting children, but people don’t ask how the parents didn’t magically know before there were any accusations or charges.

    • Doubting thomas says:

      I agree with you but wanted to point out that when people opt their kids out of the nudie-scaners that means some TSA creep is now fondling the child. The thought of a pervert seeing a nude image of my kid is sickening, the thought of some pervert groping my sons testicles makes me want to kill.

  22. RiverStyX says:

    Actually, it was me who tipped you all off about it the other day on the comments page of the TSA denying that person’s claim to their lost luggage..April 12th, 8:21pm to be exact.

    • RiverStyX says:

      ..They even used the same source I listed.

      “Scumbag Consumerist: It ain’t news unless WE say it is.”

  23. edrebber says:

    This guy is looking at a minimum of 15 years in prison. Most of them don’t realize how long of a sentence they can get until they get caught.

  24. 2 Replies says:

    IMO, his bigger crime was being an employee of TSA.

  25. pika2000 says:

    So, why the TSA still exist? Looks like people just love them.

  26. Traveller says:

    I hate to stir the pot, but the TSA can only see what is in someone’s criminal record. If they have never been arrested or charged with a crime, how are they to know?

    So do you want applicants to provide their Facebook passwords, maybe allow the government to take a look at their browsing history.

    I don’t know anyone that would allow that kind of invasion of privacy. These suspects were sleepers, they were just finally caught. I don’t know any kind of screening process that is legal by US Constitutional standards that would catch this kind of stuff.

    If you want more quality people working these jobs, pay more. Right now the pay is at the middle to top end of what you can get without a college degree. If you have a college degree you can likely do better, or want to do better.

  27. Traveller says:

    Another factor with sexual predators, and I heard this in the course the Catholic church now requires for ALL workers and volunteers, is that sexual predators like this seek out jobs where they can have contact.

    In the class materials they talked with convicted offenders. Some where married, had kids of their own, and used those kids to lure in victims. Others had jobs where they could get access to kids and win their trust. The example of this was a guy that ran a roller rink and taught classes.

    If you suspect someone of going to far, whether that it is the TSA or a teacher, report them. It sucks if it is a false report, but far less than someone continuing to abuse kids. This guy probably got a few thrills a week at work, but had a whole enterprise going at home, possibly with many real victims (by real, I mean seriously abused).

    Sports coaches are another popular job for predators. Watch out if you kids coach insists on closed practices, where you can’t even watch from a gallery. This is a huge red flag.

  28. Chuck U Farley says:

    RE: Pete Townsend, one should do more research on how the case ended up. Pete Townsend used an age old excuse “research” but his held weight.

    he’s free and you havent heard much about it because the British investigators were embarrassed publicly because of there gloating and pompous attitudes.

    Pete’s lawyer stated that prior to going to this site and purchasing access pete sent the authorities registered letters explaining his intent. They denied receiving them and then Pete’s lawyer produced evidence they received the letter(s) and may have even responded

    it’s always suspect that pete did access this child pornography…however he had one incident he documented, he had no other incidents of access or attempt. they found only cached data on his computer from his “research”. He had no collections, no communications with others, no evidence that he is any kind of a pedophile. He’s always been Odd and obsessed with children and child abuse / sexuality. in his 60+ years on earth no one came forward to indict him, no victims, no friends or relatives who witnessed or discovered issues….nothing.

    He is either the greatest criminal mastermind pedophile ever or he’s just a man who is still dealing with personal experience and issues and got pounced on for confronting horrors.