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"Ex-TSA agent at Westchester County Airport admits to bribes in oxycodone ring"
Saturday, April 28, 2012
Ex-TSA agent at Westchester County Airport admits to bribes in oxycodone
By James O'Rourke
The White Plains (NY) Journal News
NEW HAVEN, CONN. - A former TSA officer based at Westchester County Airport
admitted Thursday to accepting cash bribes in exchange for allowing large
quantities of illegal drugs to pass freely through airport security.
Brigitte Jones, 49, of the Bronx, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to
extortion and bribery charges, according to U.S. Attorney David B. Fein.
Jones, along with Westchester County police officer Michael T. Brady and
Westchester County livery drivers Sami Naber and Manny Babe, was arrested as
part of "Operation Blue Coast," which netted 20 arrests for Drug Enforcement
Administration officials investigating the trafficking of oxycodone pills
from Florida to Connecticut.
Jones, according to Fein, met with a drug trafficker based in Florida on
three occasions between May 19 and June 27. During the meetings, she was
paid a total of $1,200 after promising the trafficker, who was working with
law enforcement, that she would allow him to pass through airport security
with his product.
On June 28, Jones allowed the trafficker to go through with what she
believed to be 1,500 oxycodone pills, Fein said, noting that the pills were
actually placebos. On Sept. 13, authorities arrested her.
"This defendant knew that an individual was transporting illegal narcotics
and narcotics trafficking proceeds through Westchester County Airport," Fein
said in a statement issued Thursday. "Instead of stopping him, she violated
her oath of office, compromised important airport security procedures and
assisted a drug trafficking enterprise."
The drug operation consisted of the trafficker purchasing the oxycodone
pills in Florida at a cost of $5 per pill, Fein said. The pills would then
be transported to Connecticut and sold to drug dealers there for between
$10.50 and $13 per pill.
The Connecticut dealers would then sell the pills to the public for between
$23 and $30 each.
After exchanging low-denomination payments for larger bills, the trafficker
would often transfer his earnings through airport security as well, Fein
Brady resigned from his position as a Westchester County police officer in
November and, in February, pleaded guilty to bribery charges. As a result of
his plea deal, he faces between 37 and 46 months in federal prison. He is to
be sentenced on May 10.
Also included in the 20 arrests made during the operation are two TSA, or
Transportation Security Administration, officers from Florida and a Florida
state trooper. The status of their cases was unavailable.
Jones faces a maximum of 20 years in federal prison on the extortion charge
and a maximum of 15 years in federal prison on the bribery charge, Fein
She is to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Mark R. Kravitz on July 25.
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