Sunday, August 28, 2011
A black former federal security officer has admitted that she helped members of a local drug gang smuggle cash through the Buffalo Niagara International Airport
Minnetta Walker, who was arrested in March 2011 after an 11-month investigation, admitted that she helped a member of the drug ring use a fake name for traveling and helped him bypass security scanners at the airport. The 43-year-old Buffalo woman also admitted that she once warned two of the man's drug associates that federal agents were tailing them in the airport. Walker was arrested after an investigation by Buffalo agents of the FBI, NFTA Police, the Drug Enforcement Administration and U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement. Before the TSA fired her after her arrest, Walker told a judge that she made about $40,000 annually as a behavioral detection officer at the airport. Her job was to walk around the airport, looking for suspicious individuals who might be planning some criminal activity. Instead, she admitted that she spent at least some of her working hours accompanying drug suspects as they walked through security checkpoints without undergoing close examination of themselves or their carry-on luggage. Under advisory sentencing guidelines, Walker faces a federal prison term in the probable range of 18 to 24 months. She pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the federal government.