Former TSA Officer Sentenced for Taking Bribes from Drug Trafficker

wsj.com | Jan 11, 2013

By Samuel Rubenfeld

tsaA former Transportation Security Administration officer based in a Florida airport was sentenced to more than five years in prison for taking cash in exchange for helping move narcotics through airport security without being detected.

Christopher Allen, who worked at Palm Beach International Airport in West Palm Beach, Fla., pleaded guilty in April 2012 to one count of extortion and one count of receiving a bribe. He was sentenced Friday in Connecticut federal court to 68 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release.

“Corruption within the ranks of those who are entrusted with the responsibility for screening air travelers and their baggage can never be tolerated,” said David B. Fein, the U.S. attorney for Connecticut, in a statement.

Allen’s case stemmed from “Operation Blue Coast,” a probe headed by a task force based in Bridgeport, Conn., that focused on the large-scale trafficking of oxycodone pills from Florida to Connecticut.

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