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TSA at Philadelphia Airport Stop Yet Another Airline Employee With a Loaded Firearm Trying to Get Through a Security Checkpoint

TSA at Philadelphia Airport Stop Yet Another Airline Employee With a Loaded Firearm Trying to Get Through a Security Checkpoint

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The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at Philadelphia Airport have stopped yet another airline employee trying to get through a security checkpoint with a loaded firearm in what has been described as a potential ‘insider threat’ incident.

In the latest interception on June 21, the TSA spotted a loaded 9mm handgun with 10 bullets in a bag belonging to a contractor employed by an airline that operates out of Philadelphia.

“This was a good catch on the part of our TSA officers as it addressed a possible insider threat situation,” explained Gerardo Spero, TSA’s Federal Security Director for the airport.

“We are always on alert for employees who may have possible bad intentions, which could possibly represent a threat to aviation security,” Spero continued.

Following the discovery, local police were called, and the firearm, along with the employee’s airside security pass, were seized, meaning that the suspect can no longer work at the airport.

The TSA did not comment on whether the man faces criminal prosecution, but the agency is considering pursuing a federal financial civil citation, which could cost the suspect thousands of dollars.

Last August, another airline employee was sacked after being caught trying to get through a security checkpoint at PHL with a loaded handgun in his backpack. In that incident, the man claimed that he had been at a shooting range and had forgotten that the 9mm handgun loaded with nine bullets was still in his bag.

Just one month later, an on-duty flight attendant who was making her way to work out of PHL was arrested after she was caught with a loaded firearm in her bag.

Kiala Santa Cruz, an American Airlines flight attendant, was stopped after a loaded .380 calibre Ruger semiautomatic handgun found in her purse.

Aircrew are often allowed to skip routine TSA screening through the ‘Known Crewmember’ lane but after a series of high-profile incidents, the TSA has increased the number of random security searches.

In 2022, a flight attendant attempted to smuggle 3.33 pounds of fentanyl through a KCM access point at San Diego Airport, but she was flagged for random additional screening, and the package was discovered when she passed through the metal detector arch.

Earlier this year, prosecutors revealed how four New York-based flight attendants used their Known Crewmember privileges to bypass security checks at New York JFK in order to smuggle bags full of money obtained from the illicit Fentanyl trade that continues to plague the United States.

So far this year, TSA at Philadelphia Airport has seized 17 guns from passengers and staff. Last year, the TSA detected a total of 45 firearms at the airport’s security checkpoints.

View Comment (1)
  • Reality check!
    Are people getting crazier or am I looking at this whole thing through the wrong end of the telescope??
    Please let me know what you think…

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