Officers from PBIA arrested in scheme to distribute painkiller - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

TSA officers from PBIA arrested in scheme to distribute painkillers

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - -

They are supposed to serve and protect, but three federal Transportation Security Administration officers and several other officers are under arrest for their alleged involvement in a scheme to distribute painkillers.

The drug ring spans from Florida to New York and Connecticut.

Two of those TSA officers were based at Palm Beach International Airport. Thousands upon thousands of oxycodone pills, TSA agents allegedly bribed with cash and gift cards to allow them through airport security.

At a news conference in Stamford, Connecticut, authorities released details of the DEA investigation dubbed 'Operation Blue Coast'.

They say, in April, they received a tip that an individual, who's identity has not been released, was traveling with large amounts of oxycodone pills from Palm Beach International Airport to Stamford, Connecticut to sell thousands of pills. That man was arrested at a Stamford Hotel with 6,000 pills.

The alleged ring leader revealed to police, over the past year, he regularly purchased pills from suppliers in Florida and transported them to Connecticut by plane or car and sold them to Connecticut-based drug dealers.

He told investigators he provided the cash and gifts to certain TSA officers who screened luggage PBIA and White Plains, New York.

Authorities corroborated the allegations by recorded conversations, surveillance and controlled deliveries.

TSA officers Christopher Allan of Palm Beach Gardens and John Best of Port St. Lucie were charged with conspiring to distribute and possessing with intent to distribute oxycodone.

In total, 20 people were arrested, including another TSA agent in New York, a Florida trooper, a New York Police Officer. All face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

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