A review of recent TSA sex crimes

As reported here on September 13th, yet another TSA screener has been arrested for child pornography. While not a crime unique to TSA workers, it does raise the question of why the TSA is attracting a disproportionate number of criminals and pedophiles.

There have been 99 TSA workers arrested in the last 20 months including the now 13 arrested for child sex crimes, over 26 for theft, 12 for smuggling contraband through security, and one for murder.

Perhaps if people have no respect for their own rights and privacy, they will at least have the decency to protect children from these predators.

Here’s a partial list of arrests:

TSA screener Andrew Smeal arrested for child pornography
September 13, 2012
CBS Local Miami Video
A TSA screener at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport is accused of possessing dozens of horrifying images of child pornography. Andrew Smeal is facing 25 counts of possessing child pornography showing young children engaged in sexual acts. Smeal works for the Transportation Security Administration at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. “It makes you ask how they screen for employees initially, to begin with,” passenger Dennis Rose said. Smeal was being held in the Broward County Jail on $50,000 bond.

TSA agent among 55 caught in kid porn net
Boston Herald
By Christine McConville
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
TSA agent Jose E. Salgado, 59, of Chelsea was suspended from his job after his employers learned that local law enforcement agencies are pursuing criminal charges against him for the possession and sharing of pornographic images of children. Periodic arrests of TSA agents on sex charges across the nation have fueled criticism of the agency’s screening of its own employees, tasked with patting down the traveling public and keeping the airways safe. At least two other TSA officers assigned to Logan have faced sex charges in the past two years. Sex charges against others have been reported in Virginia, New Hampshire, Nevada, Georgia, and other states.

TSA agent Paul David Rains charged in online child-predator sting
Orlando Sentinel
By Arelis R. Hernández
December 15, 2011
Nearly 50 people — including 10 with Central Florida ties — were arrested during a six-month investigation known as Operation Amalgamate that targeted suspected online predators, officials said Thursday. Agencies across the state, including the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, collaborated to root out alleged online sex crimes against children perpetrated in chat rooms, through text messages, dating sites, social networks, and classified advertisements, officials said. Suspects include then-Transportation Security Administration agent Paul David Rains, 62, of Orlando, who no longer works for the agency.

Harold Rodman, TSA worker, arrested for sexual assault
ABC Local, Arlington, Virginia
by Gail Pennybacker
November 21, 2011
A Transportation Security Administration employee is accused of sexually assaulting a woman in Manassas. The suspect, Harold Glen Rodman, 52, allegedly was wearing his uniform and displayed a badge to the victim, a 37-year-old woman. Police arrested Rodman on Nov. 20. He is charged with aggravated sexual battery, object sexual penetration, forcible sodomy, and abduction with intent to defile. A TSA spokesperson confirmed that Rodman works for the agency but wouldn’t say in what capacity or where.

Maryland TSA Agent Charged With Child Porn
The Smoking Gun
December 28, 2011
A Transportation Security Administration security officer is out on bail after he was arrested and charged with child pornography. Michael Scott Wilson, 41, has been suspended from his job following the arrest. Wilson was charged Monday with possession and distribution of child pornography after agents searched his Perry Hall home.

TSA Agent Charged With Statutory Rape
News Channel 5, Tennessee
September 20, 2011
A TSA agent has been arrested in Rutherford County on charges of statutory rape. Clifton Lyles was arrested by U.S. Marshals Tuesday night, following a grand jury indictment. Lyles worked at Nashville International Airport. Details about what led to his arrest were not released. His bond was set at $10,000.

Feds: Former TSA worker had kiddie porn stash
Boston Herald
by John Zaremba
September 3, 2011
Prosecutors say a former TSA security screener had a trove of 2,000 kiddie porn photos and videos on his home computer and an external hard drive and now faces federal charges. Andrew W. Cheever, 33, of Beverly, who screened passengers at Logan International Airport, was arrested at his Beverly home yesterday and brought into federal court in Boston, where Chief Magistrate Judge Judith Gail Dein ordered him held pending a hearing Thursday.

DA charges Spring Creek TSA Screener with Lewdness & Child Molestation
Elko Daily Free Press, Nevada
by Jared DuBach
August 26, 2011
The Elko County Sheriff’s Office was notified in July of possible sexual contact between David Ralph Anderson, 61, and a girl younger than 14. Anderson allegedly taught the victim about various sexual acts and had sexual contact in the form of touching each other’s genitals. Anderson, who is a TSA employee according to Elko County Jail records, is being held on $250,000 bail.

TSO arrested for kidnapping and attempted rape in Atlanta
LaGrange News, Georgia
November 24, 2010
A TSA employee remained hospitalized today after being accused of kidnapping a young female in Atlanta, then taking her to his Hogansville residence and sexually assaulting her. Randall Scott King, whose age and street address were not given, abducted the woman Wednesday evening from a MARTA parking lot in southwest Atlanta, police said.

PHL TSA Screener Charged with Child Pornography
Philadelphia Inquirer
By John Shiffman
April 23, 2011
A passenger screener at Philadelphia International Airport is facing charges that he distributed more than 100 images of child pornography via Facebook, records show. Federal agents also allege that Transportation Safety Administration Officer Thomas Gordon Jr. of Philadelphia, who routinely searched airline passengers, uploaded explicit pictures of young girls to an internet site on which he also posted a photograph of himself in his TSA uniform.

Orlando TSA agent arrested for molestation
Huffington Post
April 2, 2010; Updated May 25, 2011
A TSA agent has been arrested and charged with lewd and lascivious molestation of a minor after police say he tried to keep a girl as a sex slave. Police arrested 57-year-old Charles Bennett of Winter Garden on Friday. A 15-year-old girl was the one who reported him to police. According to reports from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and the Orange County Jail, the 15-year-old victim confided in her caregivers that Bennett had touched her inappropriately three years ago when she was 12. She says he also asked the young girl to be his “sex slave,” an accusation investigators say Bennett admitted to in a written statement to police.

TSA Agent Arrested for Rape in Londonderry NH
Eagle Tribune, Massachusetts
by Jillian Jorgensen
April 2, 2011
A TSA employee who worked at Manchester Boston Regional Airport has been arrested on five counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault, according to police.
Police arrested Dwayne Valerio, 44, at his 192 Rockingham Road home on Friday, March 18, according to Lt. Robert Michaud. Police released few details on what led to his arrest, citing the alleged victim’s age. “The victim is a juvenile,” he said.

Logan employee accused of raping 14-year-old girl
Local NBC Channel 7, Boston
March 9, 2010
A Transportation Security Administration worker at Logan International Airport is accused of assaulting a 14-year-old girl. Sean Shanahan, 45, of Winthrop is being held on $50,000 cash bail following his arraignment in East Boston District Court. He is charged with statutory rape, enticement of a child, and indecent assault and battery on a person 14 or older.

Editor’s Note: For a constantly updated list of TSA Crimes and Abuses, check out the “Master List.”

(Photo: Flickr Creative Commons/MegaBu7)