SFO security screeners indicted on drug smuggling, fraud charges

A trio of security screeners were busted allegedly allowing undercover agents at San Francisco International Airport to pass through security checkpoints with real and fake drugs, the Department of Justice said Friday.

A federal indictment unsealed Thursday accuses the defendants, all contractors with the Transportation Security Administration, with defrauding the government and smuggling cocaine through SFO, the DOJ said.

The TSA-Office of Inspection worked with the Drug Enforcement Administration in the investigation that ended with the arrests of Joseph Scott, 35, of Vallejo; Jessica Scott, 27, of San Pablo; and Michael Castaneda, 32, of Daly City, the DOJ said. The trio was employed with contractor Covenant Aviation Security.

If convicted for the alleged crimes committed in the first half of 2014, the defendants could face a minimum of 10 years in prison and up to life imprisonment. The fines they face, at maximum, reach more than $10 million.

Joseph and Jessica Scott were released on $50,000 bail each Friday while Castaneda is in federal custody, the DOJ said. Castaneda is scheduled to appear in court next Monday.

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