TSA employee from Buffalo Airport charged
By Bert Gambini
Buffalo, NY – Federal Authorities arrested a TSA employee assigned to the Buffalo-Niagara International Airport and charged her with conspiring to defraud the United States by obstructing the same security measures she was hired to enforce.
43 year old Minnetta Walker of Buffalo allegedly allowed passengers to board aircrafts after minimal inspection scrutiny. U.S. Attorney William Hochul said the procedure was carefully orchestrated by Walker.
One of the passengers identified in the case is 30-year-old Derek Frank of Amherst. He was also arrested Tuesday and charged with several drug trafficking counts. Hochul says Frank did not smuggle drugs, but rather cash that would be used for drug purchases.
Hochul stated that "this Office, working with our law enforcement partners, will vigorously pursue any efforts to breach or evade the security of our region's airports. We will also continue to hold all public servants to the highest standards of their profession."
"The TSA has been working with the FBI, DEA and our other law enforcement partners from the start of this investigation. I want to assure the traveling public that this was a drug investigation. At no time was the traveling public at risk," said FBI Special Agent in Charge James H. Robertson.
Ms. Walker is facing up to six years in prison and fines totaling $350,000 or both. Mr. Frank, if convicted, is facing a mandatory 20-year prison term, $2-million in fines or both.