22-year-old Rebecca Solomon, a University of Michigan student, was going through security at Philadelphia International Airport when she was confronted:
A TSA worker was staring at her. He motioned her toward him.
Then he pulled a small, clear plastic bag from her carry-on – the sort of baggie that a pair of earrings might come in. Inside the bag was fine, white powder.
She remembers his words: “Where did you get it?”
This is a nightmare scenario â€” particularly given today’s drug laws and the severity of sentences (not to mention being at an airport).
Just kidding, he said. He waved the baggie. It was his.
And so she collected her things, stunned, and the tears began to fall.
Another passenger, a woman traveling to Colorado, consoled her as others who had witnessed the confrontation went about their business. Solomon and the woman walked to their gates, where each called for security and reported what had happened. […]
When she complained to airport security, Solomon said, she was told the TSA worker had been training the staff to detect contraband.
Now that this story hit the paper, the TSA worker is no longer employed.
I understand that the TSA needs to conduct training exercises, but there are proper ways to do that, and sneaking contraband into innocent people’s bags is not one of them.
I remember a story a couple years ago about the equivalent of the TSA in another country conducting training exercises. They snuck some drugs into suitcases and lost track of the suitcases. Oops. Hope none of those innocent travelers was going to a country where they execute people for smuggling drugs…