Delta Employee With $282K In Backpack Arrested For Illegal Money Transmitting

Image courtesy of (Quinn Dombrowski)

Between the JetBlue flight attendant recently arrested for trying to get 69 pounds of cocaine through airport security and a Delta baggage handler taken into custody for allegedly smuggling more than 100 guns onto flights, you’d hope that airline staffers would think twice before abusing their positions. Apparently, that didn’t cross the mind of another Delta ramp agent arrested over the weekend with a backpack full of cash. 

The Associated Press reports that the gate agent was charged with illegal money transmitting for allegedly attempting to deliver the bag containing $828,400 to a passenger in a restroom at the Palm Beach International Airport.

Federal agents say the employee used his airport identification to bypass security checkpoints and enter a so-called sterile area from outside tarmac ramps.

The man, who was not wearing his uniform, was stopped by an airport operations officer and asked about his backpack, CNN reports, noting that he handed over the bag willingly.

Authorities say the man was paid $1,000 to give the backpack to an unidentified traveler in the bathroom. He’d allegedly participated in at least four other transactions in the last year.

While this isn’t the first time an airline or airport employee has used their job as a way to partake in illegal acts, the Transportation Security Administration announced in December that they would increase random checks of such personnel.

Currently, U.S. airport and airline employees are allowed to skip security lines after undergoing a background check and obtaining a Security Identification Display Area (SIDA) badge. The system is designed to free up staff at passenger checkpoints and to clear individuals who are considered a minimal security risk.

At the time of the announcement a spokesperson for the agency didn’t elaborate on how often the random checks would be used, but cited a Dept. of Homeland Security memo that it would enhance such random screenings in secure areas and encourage airports to reduce employee access points.

Officials: Airline Worker With $282K in Backpack Arrested [The Associated Press]
Delta employee arrested with more than $282,000 in backpack [CNN]

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