Former TSA officer moved 110 lbs. of marijuana through LAX, indictment states

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A former Transportation Security Administration officer was indicted on federal charges that he accepted bribes to allow drugs to clear checkpoints at Los Angeles International Airport.

Deondre Smith, 33, of South Los Angeles, ensured bags with marijuana would make it through security at LAX, according to the indictment announced by the United States Attorney's Office for the Central District of California.

The indictment said Smith would even personally escort the luggage through LAX security to make sure it was loaded on to airplanes.

The bags with marijuana were flown to Charlotte Douglas International Airport in North Carolina, where the drugs were later distributed, according to the indictment.

There were at least nine times between 2009 and 2010 where Smith allowed drug-filled bags to pass through security, the indictment stated.

The indictment said Smith helped move at least 110 pounds of marijuana through LAX and accepted at least $500 for ensuring their safe passage.

Smith is charged with conspiracy to distribute marijuana and bribery of a public official.

If convicted, he would face a maximum penalty of five years for the count of conspiracy to distribute marijuana and a maximum of 15 years in prison for the bribery count.

Other members of the alleged conspiracy have been convicted of federal drug trafficking charges in North Carolina, according to federal prosecutors.
Related Topics:
air travelcrimedrugsmarijuanaairport securityTSAairport newsLos AngelesNorth Carolina
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