BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - A Transportation Security Agency employee has been arrested, charged with helping a drug dealer get marijuana through airport security checkpoints.
43-year-old Minnetta Walker of Buffalo was arrested on Tuesday. Walker worked as a Behavioral Detection Officer. Using her position, Walker allegedly allowed one person to travel under a false name and others to bypass security measures in the Buffalo Niagara International Airport, bypassing pat down and body scanner lines. On that same occasion, Walker allegedly waited with those persons at the departure gate, preventing the travelers from being subjected to a random second screening. Walker is also accused of alerting an individual traveling through the airport to surveillance being conducted by federal law enforcement officers.
Walker has been charged with conspiring to defraud the U.S. by interfering with and obstructing the security measures, procedures and requirements of the TSA and with aiding and abetting another individual in entering an aircraft and airport area in violation of federal security requirements. If convicted of the former charge, Walker faces up to five years in prison, a fine of $250,000 or both. The latter charges carries a penalty of up to one year in prison, a fine of $100,000, or both.
One of the travelers Walker allegedly aided is 30-year-old Derek Frank of Amherst, who was also arrested Tuesday. Frank was charged with engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise, possession with intent to distribute, and the distribution of 100 kilograms of marijuana and conspiracy. If convicted, Frank faces a mandatory 20 years behind bars, a fine of $2,000,000, or both.
Both pleaded not guilty before Magistrate Judge H. Kenneth Schroeder Jr. in federal court in Buffalo. Neither had an attorney.
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