British man passes through U.S. TSA security checkpoint with bag full of fireworks

When 29 year old Paul Jones celebrated the 4th of July in Kansas, he ended up with a large bag of unused fireworks. Instead of discarding them, he kept them in a bag and brought them home back to the United Kingdom. In doing so, he was able to keep them in his carry-on luggage, and even passed the bag of explosives through the Kansas airport x-ray machine, in plain sight of officers.

It wasn’t until he arrived back home that a customs official spotted the fireworks and questioned him. To make matters worse, he was even able to carry a lighter though the checkpoint, which would have obviously aided in setting them off on his flight.

The BBC contacted Continental Airlines, who pointed their fingers at the TSA, who were obviously “not available for comments.” According to Continental Airlines, “We warn customers on our website about hazardous materials which are prohibited on aircraft under federal law, and the list includes fireworks.” Well, I’m sure terrorists will read those warnings and leave their bombs at home next time they fly.

Without hand screening every single bag, the TSA will of course never catch 100% of hazardous materials passing the checkpoint, but to miss a bag filled with 200 firecrackers shows an amazing level of incompetence.

[Image from BBC News]

Phoenix TSA fails to detect 20 trips with 20 pounds of pot – failure or fearmongering?

Fox news in Phoenix is covering the story of two men who were running a regular pot transport scheme, delivering pot to Chicago from their home airport. The men had apparently passed through Phoenix Sky Harbor airport over 20 times, each time with almost 20 pounds of pot.

The story focuses on why the TSA failed to detect the pot, and “what else may be getting through?”. Because the men used airline buddy passes, their regular activity failed to show up on any of the automated watch systems, so they were able to book a ticket, and head directly to the airport.

The TSA issued a statement about the incident: “The mission of the TSA is to ensure the safety of the aviation system and intercept dangerous items.

To me, that makes perfect sense – the TSA is not in charge of finding or detecting drugs. If a TSA agent happens to find a stash of marijuana hidden in a bag, I’m sure he or she would call for airport law enforcement, but in my opinion, expecting the TSA to add drugs and other items to their search list is just not possible – they have a hard enough time finding guns and bombs. That said, I can understand them not finding the pot once, or maybe twice – but to fail to notice it over twenty times does seem rather excessive.

What do you think? Is it fair to blame the TSA for not finding 20 pounds of pot taken on a plane over 20 times?


Small dick joke has TSA worker beaten up after security scanner incident

It was only a matter of time till the whole body imaging machines being installed around the country would set off some kind of nastiness. After the “love those gigantic tits” incident in the United Kingdom last month, the United States is finally getting a taste of the problems these machines can create.

During a training session at Miami International Airport, a TSA supervisor joked about the size of the manhood of one of his colleagues who had just stepped into the machine. The supervisor was operating the equipment when he made the remark – so his joke could have been based on facts.

Rolando Negrin couldn’t appreciate the jokes about his genitalia, so at the end of his shift, he used a police baton to beat up the supervisor in an airport parking garage. The police report states “victim stated he was in fear and complied with [Negron].” after being told to get down on his knees and apologize.

Negron was arrested the next day where he told police he had been made fun of by his co-workers. He has been arrested and booked into the local jail.

As usual – the first thing that comes to mind is that we yet again get evidence of the professionalism of the TSA – the people hired to protect our skies apparently think it is OK to assault someone in a parking garage. That said – I can totally understand why someone would get a little upset over a bunch of “small dick” jokes, especially if said colleagues have actually seen naked images of you.

Of course, this is the worst kind of PR you can possible get when trying to convince the public about the effectiveness of whole body imagers. We’ve all been told that our privacy is safe, and that images will never be stored – but the good folks at the TSA managed to screw that up in just one afternoon, all thanks to their juvenile pranks.

For all the details on the incident, head on over to The Smoking Gun for the police affidavit.

Update: The TSA blog has issued a statement about the incident. As usual, they are “taking it seriously” and are “looking into it”.

Detroit TSA agent moonlighting as armed fast food robber

A Detroit TSA agent has been arrested on suspicion of involvement in at least four robberies of local fast food restaurants. The men were caught on camera robbing a McDonalds where they used a brick to smash the windows and rob the staff. The camera footage shows the men using the same blue gloves as used by TSA staff at airport checkpoints.

The gang was made up of three men – but the TSA is most interested in Quantrez Sawyer as they are the ones that employ him to guard Detroit Metropolitan Airport. The arrest is just another embarrassment for the TSA who seem to have a pretty bad track record. In the past, TSA workers have been arrested on suspicion of luggage theft, theft of an HBO production camera and even possession of child porn.

The three are each being held on a $1 million bond, and if convicted, they may end up spending life sentences in jail.


A humourous look at how to transport sex toys through the airport checkpoint

Funny “man blog” Manolith has put together a helpful chart with tips on how to carry “marital aids” through the airport checkpoint. The list is obviously meant as a bit of a joke, but from my conversations with TSA workers, it appears that the occasional dildo is not that rare in checkpoint luggage.

The full version of the chart is here. One tip you won’t find in the list is the Gadling recommendation to send your bags (and toys) by FedEx to your destination. That way, you won’t have to worry about a TSA agent questioning you on the purpose of that 12 incher in your bag, or the massive tube of lube you forgot to remove (remember the liquid rules!).