Sunday, September 4, 2011
A 43-year-old former US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agent who was arrested back in March on charges of aiding a drug smuggling ring has pleaded guilty, according to reports. Minetta Walker says she knowingly assisted criminals in evading airport security, and helped them sneak drug money onto flights.
Walker worked as a TSA “behavioral detection officer” at Buffalo Niagara International Airport (BNIA) until March 1, 2011, when she was arrested on suspected drug activity. As a behavioral detection officer, Walker was in charge of monitoring the airport and looking for suspicious activity, and was allowed unrestricted access to all areas of the airport.
As it turns out, Walker was the embodiment of the very criminal activity that she was tasked with monitoring, having admitted in a federal court that she assisted 30-year-old Derek Frank in avoiding naked body scanners, pat downs, and other airport security protocols that might have exposed his drug activities.
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
According to a recent report in the UK’s Daily Mail, Frank has been accused of regularly flying from Buffalo to Arizona to purchase marijuana, where he sent it back to Buffalo to be sold. While traveling, he carried with him large sums of drug money. However, Frank has pleaded not guilty to these charges.
The only reason Walker’s participation in such illegal activities was even brought to light in the first place was due to a drug monitoring program that had been established a year earlier, which effectively traced the movements and mobile phone activities of the drug ring back to Walker’s airport shenanigans.
Reports indicate that Walker has been charged with conspiring to defraud the United States and evading airport security requirements. She could face up to five years in prison if convicted, and Frank could face 20 years to life if convicted.