Another TSA screener arrested on child porn possession

Friday, September 21, 2012 by: J. D. Heyes
Tags: TSA employees, child porn, arrest

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(NaturalNews) Another day, another arrest of a Transportation Security Administration employee. Seriously, is there any other federal agency with as despicable a track record for its employees than the TSA?

The latest arrest involves a TSA screener who was picked up at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, where he works, according to local CBS affiliate report. The network said Andrew Smeal is currently in jail, accused of "possessing dozens of horrifying images of child pornography."

Unreal. And so sick.

The report says Smeal is in fact facing 25 counts of possessing child pornography - including images showing young children engaged in sexual acts.

A Transportation Security Administration screener at a major South Florida airport is in jail accused of possessing dozens of "horrifying" images of child pornography.

How do these people keep getting jobs with the TSA?

Smeal was busted by the South Florida Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force at his Hollywood home recently. A police report said investigators have been tracking him and his activities since February; it wasn't clear why authorities waited so long to move in and act.

The report goes on to say that Smeal has only worked for TSA for a couple of months, but once again, the fact that this kind of individual - and others like him - continue to be attracted to, and hired by, the TSA leaves plenty of room for questioning the agency's hiring procedures.

Passengers the CBS affiliate spoke with agree. They, too, are shaking their heads.

"It makes you ask how they screen for employees initially, to begin with," said passenger Dennis Rose.

Added passenger George Griffeth: "It makes me question the people who are looking into who's doing the job. It makes me question the whole organization."

You're not alone, George.

At present, Smeal is being held in the Broward County Jail on a bond of $50,000.

Initially, the arrest report says, when police spoke to Smeal at his home he said that yes, he did download some child porn but that he deleted it. Then he changed direction and said he didn't know how it got on his computer.

He told investigators he has never touched a child in a sexual manner - a denial that would tend to have more credence if, say, Smeal wasn't being arrested for possessing child pornography.

This isn't the first time for the TSA

Again, Smeal is far from the first TSA employee to be busted for this, and other, heinous crimes.

In April, a statewide crackdown on sexual deviants in Massachusetts led to the arrest and criminal charge of TSA screener Jose E. Salgado, a 59-year-old from Chelsea that had been working at Logan International Airport in Boston. Besides Salgado, at least two other TSA screeners from Massachusetts have been nabbed in recent months on charges of possessing and distributing child pornography, or for committing acts of sexual assault against children.

The Boston Herald went on to report that sex charges were filed against other TSA employees in Virginia, Nevada, New Hampshire, Georgia and other states.

In one case, former TSA screener Andrew Cheever was recently sentenced to three and a half years in prison for possession of child pornography.

In another case, Sean Shanahan was arrested in 2011 for allegedly sending sexually explicit text messages to a 14-year-old girl.

Also last year, a man said to be a trusted and well-respected security agent with the agency was suspended from his position at Baltimore Washington International Airport (BWI) after law enforcement officials traced child pornography images he kept and distributed to his computer.

41-year-old Michael Scott Wilson was busted after police traced an illegal file accessed on a peer-to-peer network back to a computer he had been using. They later searched his home and found even more evidence, including illegal images stored on a computer hard drive and on compact discs found in the family's safe.





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