What would you do if you knew the Air Marshal on your plane was smuggling Drugs?

According to a recent USA TODAY article, Federal Air Marshals have been convicted of smuggling drugs, molesting children, abducting a female escort during a layover in Washington D.C., hiring a hitman to kill a spouse and many other criminal acts.

The ex-Air Marshal who was convicted of smuggling drugs apparently used his position to work with a drug dealer to carry cocaine and drug money with him on flights around the country. He was caught on tape telling an informant that he was “the man with the Golden Badge”.

We should remember though, that with a current force of between 3,000 – 4,000 (exact numbers are confidential), there are bound to be a few bad apples in the bunch – that is the way in every profession.

What makes it much more alarming when we talk about Air Marshals gone bad is the fact that at 30,000 feet in the air – their authority is absolute. The last thing a passenger in a plane needs to be concerned about is the very person on the plane whose job it is to protect the passengers.

The Marshal’s decision making skills should be beyond reproach. If their judgement is clouded over however, due to experimenting with the cocaine they are smuggling, the consequences could prove fatal.

Perhaps the fact that prior to 2001, the Air Marshal service had an annual budget of $4.4 million and 33 agents which exploded to $786 million and between 3,000 to 4,000 agents today might have something to do with undesirables falling through the cracks.

Not that rapid hiring needs are an excuse for allowing criminal behavior to go unnoticed. The office of Inspector General or Internal Affairs needs to get actively involved and properly supervise the agency so that rogue Marshals are not allowed to remain in the service.

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  1. NickR says:

    Unfortunately after 911 the Air Marshall Service was pushed into a rather quick demand to hire more agents almost over night. It is my understanding that there was no real formal process as to how they picked their candidates.
    They had stack after stack of applications coming in and so they would grab the top 20 or 30 folders and start the process.
    In the meantime some very qualified applicants who were at the bottom never surfaced or worked their way up because the pile would get added by another 20 or 30 yet again to be selected as the next pick. I was told by one of the screeners in February 2002 that an applicant had applied right after the attack and never received a call but his brother who was less qualified and who had sent in his application 30 days later was selected. He continued to say that the more qualified brother was out raged at the process and the processer could only apologize and say that there was no rhyme or reason for how the selection process was being handled because they were overwhelmed with the amount of applications coming in.
    It doesn’t surprise me to see such corruption like that because when we are careless with the hiring process for people of such an important role after 911 what can we expect. It’s just sad that the price of this carelessness falls on the hands of the innocent bystanders who are left with a false sense of security yet again.

  2. Dan in San Diego says:

    The same can be said of Border Patrol agents along the southwest border. The increase in ICE agents & officers as well. It seems like agents having been getting busted in recent years smuggling aliens and drugs across the border. It's sad to hear these reports.

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