Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in the USA' started by Mike, Jan 26, 2012.
WKRC Local 12 (25 Jan 2012): Ripley County Teacher Arrested on Drug Charges in Florida
My question is, what was TSA doing with a bottle of pills prescribed to a traveler in the first place?
Probably planning on getting stoned. Thieves, fascists, AND junkies, all of them.
Waving magic test strips, making sure the bottle did not contain over 100ml of liquid, conducting a prescription investigation, stealing them for their own use or resale...
The list goes on and on.
"Never trust a junkie"
-Sid and Nancy
Resale. The trick was getting the TSA screener to GIVE the bottle away.
Yep - a 49 year old teacher who's not wearing her reading glasses might easily claim the wrong bottle, particularly if she too is traveling with prescription medications (highly probable). I'd believe the traveler before I'd believe the TSA screeners.
At this point I'd believe a presumed terrorist before I'd believe someone from the TSA.
"Presumed," (expletive deleted). I'd believe OBL himself before I'd believe a smurf-clerk.
God only knows how often this happens. We already know that lots of people get stuff stolen, or are forced to have their stuff misplaced. Yes, I say 'forced' because when you're separated from your belongings it's not your fault when stuff goes missing, whether it's actually been stolen or not. I can't imagine how many people end up without their medications because of these thugs.
And I second Elizabeth's comment about the woman who was arrested. This could've been a completely innocent mix-up; we don't know. Yet here she is being dragged through the mud. Everyone out there better hope you don't accidentally pick up someone else's pills. You could end up in jail. After all, "can't be too safe!"
Unlikely, she reportedly emptied the victim's prescription bottle into her own.
The issue here is TSA taking possession of your belongings (and why they should have possession of your prescription painkillers in the first place is beyond me) and then giving thenm to someone else on request.
TSA has shoot themselves in the foot because they've trumped up the most silly things in the past, so of course we find them hard to believe. Their own fault for crying wolf.
The thread title might as well be "TSA Procedures Facilitate Theft."
Especially with the plethora of d-bags at the checkpoint who tell you it's your fault for not having visual on your belongings because you opted out - or because you're incapable of assuming the "surrender" position required by the scanners.
This teacher didn't just steal 149 oxycodone pills. How do I know? The medications she stole belonged to me.There is a policy that you can give your medications to a TSA agent for hand screening. They can refuse, however if they accept them, there is an eyes on at all times policy until they return them to the correct passenger. In this case, I was headed cross country for life and death surgery unable to walk with other serious health issues. My father traveling as my caretaker asked the TSA agent to hand inspect a gallon ziplock bag of schedule II narcotics. He took them, my father even reminded him they were to be in line of sight vision until my hand pat down was completed and it was TSA responsibility to get them back to me after the pat down. I just read many of the posts above and they made awful assumptions. I can say thankfully, three months later, I can now walk with a walker however a long way from normal. My nerves are still terribly inflamed. The school teacher wasn't charged with anything but the oxycodone because the TSA agents caught up to her. She apparently said it was a mistake and gave the gallon bag back. TSA radioed back to the gate to tell me they had my medicine since I was crying uncontrollably. They came running off the tram to give them to me. I was so happy until I noticed the box of fentanyl patches was empty. I then told the TSA and an Orlando Police Officer that she stole at least a full box of fentanyl patches. My father then checked the bag and discovered that the bottle of 150 oxycodone was missing. They could not return my oxycodone because she had mixed them with another bottle of medication. So that is the facts and my only question to the Police would be why couldn't they have photographed all that she really stole and charged her for stealing all the medication she did. That would have made her a high drug trafficker and it would have been appropriate. However if they would to have kept all the contents, I probably wouldn't have survived to get to surgery. Yes, TSA screwed up big time and according to her lawyer, TSA ISN't even taking that responsibility trying to say my Dad inadvertently forgot them when I was the only person TSA was to return them to after the hand pat down according to their own rules.
On beachside, I'm terribly sorry for your ordeal. As many of us have been saying, it's only a matter of time before the TSA harms someone (other than the harm they inflict every day by physically assaulting passengers). I don't know if you feel comfortable giving us any more details (you can do so privately by initiating a Conversation -- click on your name at the tab that appears at the very top of this page). Because I'm still confused. Are you saying that Karen Halcomb-Hafft, the woman who was arrested, stole the pills from you? Or that a TSA agent took them, then passed them on to Halcomb-Hafft? Or that the TSA, by carelessness, allowed them to be stolen?
Lisa, my understanding is that's a TSA agent asked if someone left the bag of medications behind instead of bringing them to me in a wheelchair. A TSA agent then said Ms. Halcomb-hafft claimed them. Obviously, none of us knew her name until they caught up to her. My name was very clearly on every bottle and box, so they should have required an i.d. Before giving them to someone who can see all the meds in the bag. Luckily for me she stood out in the mind of at least one TSA agent, so they were able to catch her after the tram departed on the other side. Since I was being patted down and my father was collecting our luggage, we only know what we were told. However you want to look at it, she got them from the possession of the TSA. This procedure worked fine several times before for other surgeries and doctor appointments across country. Now I keep them in a ziplock bag inside the wheelchair opaque bag and just inform TSA that I am carrying several schedule II narcotics. So when it comes down to it, I don't know if she requested the bag seeing it sitting in front of the TSA agent or if they offered the bag up. For sure I know they did not follow their own rules of keeping it in line of site and bringing it to me after being hand inspected. Still, I am most bothered that she was only charged with taking the meds she mixed with other pills, not for stealing everything or even at least the fentanyl patches since they were all on her when stopped the second time.
Either way it happened this is just inexcusable. And the most you will probably get is "we hold our employees to the highest standards" or some such drivel.
Which is none of TSA's business, period, stop. You are only asking for trouble by dangling these medications in front of TSA in the first place.
Separate your medications into two separate containers, one for pills and one medications in liquid or gel form. The bag of pills gets remains in your carryon (preferably locked by a non-TSA, i.e. real, padlock, and only unlocked in your presence). If there are any in the liquid/gel category, placed them in your normal 1 qt. baggie if they will fit; otherwise put them through in their own baggie, as small as possible. Only if they are in a separate or larger baggie or if an individual quantity is larger than 3.4 oz/100 m is there technically any need to "declare" them; even them I would just put them in a tub on the conveyor and not call attention to them.
Mike, when I called TSA about their requirements for the disabled, I was told if I did not want to take them out for hand inspection, I could leave them in the bag but just inform TSA about the schedule II narcotics. I assume that by not declaring they might assume I am a drug trafficker. So, it is a hard decision on whether to say nothing at all or not. Through Orlando, they pulled my Dad aside with that bag and before they opened it, my Dad told them we were carrying schedule II narcotics for me. Through Denver, we said nothing and no one stopped us.
However in Denver TSA spent 15 minutes ignoring me in my transport chair until I started screaming for the TSA manager. They claimed that I wasn't at the gate even though all my stuff was already through security with my folks. They wouldn't push me the 15 feet to the door to get hand inspected. It took far longer with their arguing that my folks should have pushed me to the door then spending the 15 seconds to push me to the door. Denver is very disability unfriendly. This is now the second time that they treated me badly to get to the hand screening. At least the screener was very good and courteous.
It is none of TSA's business if you were a drug trafficker. They are only authorized a limited administrative search for Weapons, Incendiaries, and Explosives. Anything else ceases to be an authorized administrative search.
Separate names with a comma.