Former TSA Screener: Groping Plot Was ‘Just A Game’
A former TSA screener at Denver International Airport says colleagues who conspired to grope male passengers viewed what they were doing as "just a game."
A former TSA screener at Denver International Airport says colleagues who conspired to grope male passengers viewed what they were doing as "just a game." He opted to speak after a CBS4 Investigation earlier this week revealed two TSA screeners were fired for participating in a conspiracy to allow a male TSA agent to grope the genitals of male passengers. "There was more people that knew it was going on," the former worker told CBS4. He asked he not be identified as TSA forbids current and former employees from discussing security procedures.
"They made it seem like a game, they were having fun with it... I had heard them saying it was just a game. It's a really sick game to play," said the former worker. According to a Denver police investigation, a TSA worker anonymously tipped supervisors off to the plot last November.
When an attractive male passenger would enter the security scanner, the agent would press a button indicating the passenger was female, triggering an alarm and then allowing her male colleague to conduct a pat down search on the genitals of passengers he deemed "attractive." In February, a TSA investigator said he witnessed the plot firsthand, watching as the male agent gave a signal to his female co-worker, who then rigged the system so it would allow the male to fondle the crotch of a male passenger. The investigator reported the female TSA agent confessed to the conspiracy saying she had done it at least ten times.
TSA has refused to release details of what happened or answer questions from CBS4, only calling the behavior "egregious" and confirming the firing of the two employees. The former TSA agent who agreed to speak to CBS4 said he didn't know what was going on while he worked at DIA. He said he learned more after he left the agency.
"They kept it quiet. I would ask questions but it was almost like an exclusive group for them. " He said the agents involved in the fondling were part of a larger clique that communicated with each other via group text messages. "They had a group chat at work. I definitely know that because of the group text and chat there was more people that knew it was going on. There could be numerous people who knew it was going on."
The Denver District Attorney's office said in early April it would not pursue a criminal case since no victims had been identified. But following the initial CBS4 report, the DA's office said it was re-examining the entire case to see if other criminal charges might be appropriate.
The former TSA agent said the groping conspiracy is "unbelievably embarrassing" even for a former TSA agent. He said the vast majority of the TSA's workforce at DIA is professional and dedicated and not interested in fondling passengers for pleasure. "It's not the reason we took the job- if you did you're in the wrong business."