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Controversy Involving TSA Officers at St. Louis Airport


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  • Controversy Involving TSA Officers at St. Louis Airport

    Recently, a man was detained by TSA at the St. Louis airport. Officers were apparently suspicious of the $4,700 in a carry-on bag, and his willingness to only answer questions that he was required to by law.

    The video is long, but the actual recording of the interrogation is from about 1:08 to 4:15. It will be interesting how this one plays out (also relevant that the MIAC report was cited):

    Evidently, the TSA officers released the man prior to having him speak with any other agencies.

    What do you think?
    The Blog: Slam Dunks

  • #2
    I think the whole thing stinks - kudos to the young man for not being bullied into giving up his rights!


    • #3
      Those TSA screeners are idiots. That's why they are only screeners.
      If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.

      "The beauty of the second amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it." -Thomas Jefferson



      • #4
        From TSA website:
        It is legal to transport any amount of currency or other monetary instruments into or out of the United States. However, if you transport, attempt to transport, or cause to be transported (including by mail or other means) currency or other monetary instruments in an aggregate amount exceeding $10,000 (or its foreign equivalent) at one time from the United States to any foreign place, or into the United States from any foreign place, you must file a report with U.S. Customs.

        Last I knew, a large amount of money isn't going to compromise the safety of the aircraft. I think TSA needs to focus on their original mission. This expansion, BDO, BAO, Federal Officer title, new uniform, FIDO etc is casting the net out too far. Keep it simple stupid!
        Last edited by deputy x 2; 04-08-2009, 03:22 PM.
        This profession is not for people looking for positive reinforcement from the public. Very often it can be a thankless job and you can't desire accolades, because those are not usually forthcoming. Just do your job to the best of your ability and live with the decisions you've made.


        • #5
          We all know the $10k mark is the limit as far as taxing is concerned. This is only going to involve those airports who have international flights.

          Without giving too much information, currency seizures are very commonplace at airports just as they are on the streets. The temporary detention of someone with $4k-$5k in currency, particularly small bills, is not uncommon. With that said, it is not the TSAs jurisdiction to question anyone with currency. That is up to the airport LEOs and/or DEA. Money seizures are civil forfeitures and there is a less burden of proof required to take money that obviously was not legitimately made. Any officers who have done any type of interdiction would know this. You would be absolutely amazed at the amount of drug mules that fly on commercial aircraft with the intention to buy drugs on our nation's border.

          There are specific people that know the boundaries of what they can and can't do. These folks will also make an informed, educated, and well trained decision when to seize money. The person who loses such funds will have a chance to get them back once the money's legitimacy is proven in a court of law (although it very rarely happens).

          I did not listen to the entire conversation, but from listenting to the first minute, this is one type of interview that you will get when you are dealing with people (i.e. TSA screeners) who have no idea about drug interdiction and automatically assume that someone carrying currency is guilty of something.
          Last edited by SgtScott31; 04-08-2009, 01:21 PM.
          I'm 10-8 like a shark in a sea of crime..


          • #6
            TSA screeners I have delt with are blithering idiots. I'm sure there are some sharp ones using TSA to get they careers started or retired LEOs, but many are there for the easy job and reasonible pay. I have often been treated with disrespect even when they knew my LEO status or my military status when I was active duty.

            On one occasion, I was bringing my body armor in a carry on bag while on government orders because I didn't want it to get lost. When they questioned it, I displayed my creds and orders and was told "that means nothing here" LOL! A supervisor had to be summons to let me through.


            • #7
              Other than listening to the actual incident, I only skimmed through the rest of the 9 min so if I'm being inaccurate let me know. BUT, a couple things bothered me. One, the news guys kept referring to the TSA screener's as cops did he not? And once referred to them as 4 or 5 fully armed men in uniform and badges threatening to use force to take them to the station. Um, weren't they all TSA screeners who weren't armed and NOT law enforcement Officers?

              Also, what really bothered me was at the end of the tape when they showed the picture of the guy that recorded this incident. I'm on his side. Good for him for sticking up for his rights. The thing that bothered me was the news guy saying, does this guy look like he is a terrorist. Kind of like, how stupid of anyone to accuse this guy of being a terrorist. I personally did not know that terrorists had a specific look? I mean, I don't see a difference between this guy and Timothy McVeigh (sp?). They should hire this news guy to work at the airports and travel around with the U.S. Military since he has the gift of pointing out what terrorists do and do not look like.

              As far as the whole situation, I can't comment much because I only know what Fox News told us. And I've never really been a big fan of Fox News. but again, from what I heard.... Good for this guy standing up for his right.


              • #8
                Big overstep by TSA's "Transportation Security Officers"...most likely.

                Guy aware of his rights...almost definitely.

                Some TSA heads should roll...probably.

                Director of Development for the "Campaign for Liberty" who just happens to be carrying a very clear and accessible audio recorder which is turned on for the questioning, carrying a large amount of cash through the airport (not illegal) = a planned or baited situation....I'd almost bet money on it.


                • #9
                  Have to wonder why the guy had a tape recorder and recorded the whole thing. Agreed that TSA shouldn't be touching this with a 10 foot pole, but this guy sounds like the open carry guys. "I carry a recorder just in case."
                  "You don't want the truth because, deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall... I have neither the time, nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it."


                  • #10
                    If I recall the piece properly, he recorded it using his phone. I know some have a record feature with a single button press. As for the cash, he said it was receipts for t-shirts, bumper stickers, that sort of thing, sold at whatever function he was coming back from. Me, I use a local branch of my bank to deposit it rather than carry a large sum, but my bank is a military credit union, which doesnt have branches in too many cities.


                    • #11
                      That piece was a bit confusing. We really do not know if those were TSO's in the background or LE. At the end you can hear the one guy say something about putting handcuffs on. Last I checked, TSO's did not carry handcuffs.


                      • #12
                        It is not illegal to carry largeamounts of cash in this country. TSA are not law enforcement, they are security, and have no need to have the information they asked him to give. It is none of their business.

                        They should all be reprimanded and if possible canned.
                        Though their numbers are many, as the grass upon the field, we will count them at the end of the day.


                        • #13
                          From the vid, it sounds to me like the TSA had already called the police and both the TSA and police were participating in the questioning.


                          • #14
                            I get nervous everytime I fly anymore. I have heard some real horror stories regarding the TSA and the abuse of the authority they are given. I'm all for airport security, but some of these cats need to get a grip. If you get into a disagreement with one of them your screwed, I'm glad this guy stuck to his guns.
                            "I would rather live one day as a Lion, than a thousand years as a Sheep."


                            • #15
                              Traveling with large amounts of cash has been a bad idea since time immemorial.
                              Officious twits have been a hazard to travelers, and others, since time immemorial.

                              If someone wants to waste his time and risk his money by winding up officious twits, that’s his business. Don’t expect me to congratulate him or to display righteous indignation on his behalf.


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