Arrested, Man Who Bribed the TSA Employee and the TSA Employee
Written on October 21, 2011 by Daryl
A domestic airline passenger along with a TSA employee were arrested Sunday after attempting to smuggle several pounds of marijuana on a flight from Los Angeles to Boston’s Logan Airport, announced Steven Martinez, Assistant Director in Charge with the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Workplace, and André Birotte Jr, Usa Lawyer in Los Angeles.
Millage Peaks, 23, of Los Angeles, and Dianna Perez, 28, of Inglewood, had been taken into custody on Sunday and had been held overnight at the Metropolitan Detention Center. Based on criminal complaints filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles earlier today, Perez, who is an employee with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), was charged with accepting a bribe in connection with permitting bags containing a controlled substance to pass unimpeded via airport security. Peaks was charged with bribing a public official.
On Sunday, October 16, the Los Angeles Airport Police (LAXPD) responded to a report by a baggage handler with American Airlines who smelled marijuana emanating from one of the bags checked in by Peaks. Peaks’ bags, which had been destined for Boston’s Logan Airport, had been then eliminated and searched by TSA personnel. Fourteen plastic bags, containing what LAXPD officers believed amounted to roughly 10-15 pounds of marijuana, had been found concealed within Peak’s bags.
Following preliminary interviews and investigation, officers with LAX PD detained Dianna Perez, who was employed by the TSA, and Peaks, then contacted FBI agents assigned to Los Angeles International Airport for further investigation.
The complaint alleges that Perez agreed to accept a bribe to make use of her position as a TSA officer to allow Peaks’ checked luggage to bypass airport security without becoming screened by other TSA officers. Perez has been a TSA officer for much more than seven many years and is responsible for loading luggage onto x-ray machines, and searching them. If luggage sets off an alarm for explosives or dangerous items, Perez is certified to clear bags, based on the complaint.
The complaint alleges that Peaks planned to travel to Boston to resell the marijuana which he obtained the previous day in San Francisco for $38,000.
Before buying the marijuana, Peaks had arranged for Perez to help him move bags containing the marijuana via airport security for a fee, based on the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint. He meant to spend Perez $500 for every bag she allowed to bypass security, according to the complaint.
The complaint further alleges that Peaks told investigators that Perez helped him circumvent security on approximately nine prior occasions. Every time, Peaks would pay Perez roughly $500 for each bag that she moved past security, amounting to approximately $5,000-6,000.
Peaks told agents he met Perez on Sunday morning in the curbside check-in region outdoors Terminal 4 at LAX, at which time Perez took his bags to a TSA screening room. The complaint alleges that Perez returned a few minutes later and waved at Peaks, indicating that “everything was good.” Peaks also told investigators that Perez suggested him how you can pack the marijuana to avoid detection and told him that she moved drugs through security on other occasions. Throughout an interview with Perez, Perez told agents she assisted a number of other people. Perez and Peaks had an initial look in U.S. District Court this afternoon and had been each freed on a $20,000 bond. They are scheduled to be arraigned on November 14.
$20,000 bail bonds for both Perez and Peaks seems pretty low for crimes of this nature. Since they were both freed on bond, that means that they paid abail bondscompany $2000 to be freed from jail. The defendants still need to return to court to attend to their responsibilities. That’s what the $20,000 is used for, it’s bascially leverage to insure that the defendants will return to court and fulfill their responsibilities. More information about thebail bonds process.
This investigation was carried out by the Los Angeles Airport Police Department, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and the FBI.
Perez and Peaks will probably be prosecuted by the UsaAttorney’s Workplace in Los Angeles.
If convicted on the charge of accepting a bribe, Perez faces a statutory maximum penalty of 15 years in federal prison. If convicted on the charge of having to pay a bribe, Peaks faces a statutory maximum penalty of 15 many years in federal prison.
A criminal complaint contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent till and unless of course proven guilty in court.