Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Two TSA agents arrested at JFK Airport for stealing $39K from passenger’s bag
Port Authority police arrested to TSA employees for allegedly stealing about $160,000 worth of property from plane passengers over a period of time.
TSA Officers Accused of Stealing $40,000 from Bag at JFK Airport: MyFoxNY.com
Two TSA officers were busted Wednesday for stealing $40,000 from a bag at Kennedy Airport they thought belonged to a drug dealer, a law enforcement source said.
Under questioning, the pair also admitted swiping up to $160,000 from other unsuspecting passengers.
Rogue agents Davon Webb, 30, and Persad Coumar, 36, were busted after a sharp-eyed colleague blew the whistle.
They were charged with grand larceny, possession of stolen property, conspiracy and official misconduct.
“TSA has a zero tolerance policy for theft in the workplace,” the Transportation Security Administration said.
“The disgraceful actions of a few should not reflect negatively on the … 50,000 TSA officers across the country who work each day to keep the traveling public safe.”
Coumar X-rayed luggage destined for an American Airlines flight to Argentina on Jan. 30. Then he phoned Webb, who was assigned to the baggage belt area. Webb confirmed there was cash inside, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.
Brown said Coumar found $170,000 wrapped in tape. He took $40,000 and met Webb in a bathroom, where the employees hid the loot in their clothing, Brown said.
A TSA agent tipped off a supervisor, triggering an investigation by Port Authority cops.
Cops found $16,000 at Webb’s Bronx home.
They also found $23,980 at Coumar’s Jackson Heights home. He had spent $20 on food, authorities said.
A law enforcement source said the details of the investigation will be forwarded to the Drug Enforcement Administration.
The passenger who checked the bag arrived safely in Argentina and never told authorities he was missing any cash.
One source said most of the bags – aside from the $40,000 theft – were chosen randomly.
Another source said the duo targeted drug dealers because they didn’t think criminals would report the thefts.
Webb, who joined the TSA in 2004, and Coumar, who started in 2002, are expected to be fired, officials said.