Agent ensured marijuana traffickers avoided full body scanners

Steve Watson
January 5, 2012

A TSA “Behavioral detection” officer was sentenced to two years in prison on conspiracy charges Wednesday after being found guilty of providing information to suspected drug traffickers and helping them get past security checkpoints with minimum scrutiny.

Minnetta Walker was arrested last March by federal agents at Buffalo Niagara International Airport.

Investigators discovered that Walker had helped traffickers move large amounts of cash through the airport, escorting them through security lines, directing them away from the naked body scanners and patdown security lines, and ensuring their luggage bypassed screening areas.

Walker also aided at least one suspected narcotics trafficker to fly under a false identity and warned at least one other suspect that police officers were conducting undercover surveillance of him.

It was also revealed that on occasion Walker waited with suspected drug carriers at the aircraft departure gate, ensuring that they were able to avoid random secondary screening.

She also did this while off duty, but still wearing her TSA uniform.

“As a TSA employee, Minetta Walker represented one of the nation’s last lines of defense when it comes to airline safety and national security.” said U.S. Attorney William Hochul, Jr. in an FBI statement.

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“In this position, the public had a right to expect from Walker the highest degree of honesty and integrity,” he added.

“By abusing her position of trust, Walker not only dishonored her profession, she permitted illegal narcotics trafficking to continue to the detriment of the Western New York community. Today’s sentence sends a strong message that such behavior will not be permitted by this office.”

The investigation into the trafficking at the Buffalo airport is ongoing.

The most sickening part of the case is that Walker’s role as a “behavioral detection” officer is to walk around the airport seeking out potential criminals by analyzing their behaviour. Clearly it takes one to know one.

The case is yet another in a long history of instances indicating that TSA workers are prone to criminal behavior.


Steve Watson is the London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’, and He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham in England.

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