Surveillance video has been released to the public showing Transportation Security Administration agents in Florida allegedly stealing valuables from passengers during security screenings at Miami International Airport.
The state attorney's office released several video clips this week of TSA agents appearing to remove items belonging to travelers from security bins. Security footage shows a TSA agent seemingly reaching into the pocket of a small Louis Vuitton bag after unzipping it. He appears to take something out of the pocket, place it on the side of the bin, and then take the item from the tray farther down on the conveyor belt before it goes through the X-ray machine at the Miami International Airport's E security checkpoint.
Another incident caught on video shows two TSA agents reportedly working together to steal belongings from a black bag. One agent appears to unzip a pocket of the bag, and then the second agent allegedly removes something from the bag and puts it in his pants pocket.
The two TSA agents – 33-year-old Labarrius Williams and 20-year-old Josue Gonzalez – were arrested in July. They are facing grand theft charges, according to WTVJ.
Charges were dropped against a third suspect.
According to the arrest report, the TSA agents would "distract passengers as they were being screened, to steal monies from their belongings."
The TSA provided the Miami-Dade Police Department with surveillance video of Gonzalez and Williams "removing $600 from a passenger's wallet, while the passenger was in the screening process," the police report stated.
WTVJ reported, "Gonzalez was accepted into a state program where if he successfully completes it, his charges will get dropped. For the next six months, Gonzalez must pay $700 to the two victims involved and he must do 25 hours of community service and give up his airport security credentials."
The TSA said the agents had been removed from the screening line pending an investigation.
The TSA said in a statement:
TSA has removed the officers from screening duties pending completion of the investigation and administrative actions. The Transportation Security Administration holds its Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) to the highest professional and ethical standards and has no tolerance for misconduct in the workplace. We actively and aggressively investigated these allegations of misconduct and presented our findings to the Miami Dade Police Department, and are working closely with them. Any employee who fails to meet our fundamental ethical standards is held accountable.
Former Miami-Dade Police Major Ignacio Alvarez gave passengers advice for securing their belongings during the security process at airports.
Alvarez told WFOR-TV, "Before I reach the security area, I take off my watch, my ring, my wallet and put it inside my bag and I never lose sight of my bag. After I clear security I go through my bag and get everything back out. I get my wallet, I get my watch, I get my phone, I get my cash, and put it back in my pocket to make sure nothing is missing."
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