The case of TSA Federal Air Marshal gun trafficking was exposed several months and TSA attempted to pooh-pooh the matter and brush it off as a minor and isolated incident. Less than a month after the Supreme Court accepted a whistleblower case brought by a TSA FAM it is apparent that TSA has been unable to sweep this widespread misconduct by their Air Marshalls under the rug. Since this involves trafficking firearms it is an ATF violation. These usually carry stiff penalties and will likely lead to in the conviction and incarceration of dozens of TSA officials
By Jana Winter – Published June 19, 2014 – FoxNews.com
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Virginia has reopened its criminal investigation into allegations of illicit gun-selling at senior levels of the Federal Air Marshal Service (FAMS), multiple sources told FoxNews.com.
“They’re taking another look at everything. They appear to have received new information they did not have during their initial investigation,” one of the sources briefed on the case told FoxNews.com.
In addition to the criminal probe, sources said internal investigations within the Air Marshal Service and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) have involved a larger number of senior officials than previously had been reported. Those senior officials may have illicitly purchased guns or been involved with a June 2009 contract bid awarded to Sig Sauer, the weapons manufacturer whose guns allegedly were involved in the gun-selling scheme.
Sources said the U.S. attorney’s office reopened the case following congressional inquiries into the matter and an April 10 FoxNews.com story revealing the existence of the investigation. The probe initially focused on allegations Danny Poulos, an Air Marshal supervisor, benefited from his professional relationship with Sig Sauer to receive free or discounted weapons, which were then allegedly sold to senior FAMS executives, including recently retired director Robert Bray.
A TSA spokesman, when asked about the case, confirmed the internal probe remained ongoing but referred FoxNews.com to the U.S. attorney’s office regarding the federal investigation. The spokesman said: “TSA has found no evidence of criminal misconduct by any senior FAM or TSA manager.”
“TSA Administrator John S. Pistole allowed Director Robert Bray to ‘NOT’ be disciplined for Bray’s conduct regarding a gun scandal that made national news,” the initial complaint reads, according to a copy obtained by FoxNews.com.
“TSA Administrator Pistol intentionally treated Director Bray favorably while other TSA employees were all disciplined for trivial allegations of misconduct. Pistole is Bray’s supervisor and allowed Bray to enjoy a ‘clean’ record but denied other employees the same benefit.
“Bray was not disciplined for his criminal acts nor was he disciplined for violating policy.”
New FAMS director Roderick Allison, who replaced Bray, previously led the TSA’s Office of Inspection, which conducted the internal administrative investigation. Sources said new information gathered during the TSA OI investigation was passed back to the U.S. attorney’s office.
According to officials with knowledge of the probe, DHS investigators conducted a late-night April 11 inventory of the Air Marshal Service’s national armory in Atlantic City, N.J. Managers were questioned, and inventory of weaponry at the agency’s national armory was taken.
Asked about the inventory, a TSA spokesman said “there was no all-night inventory” at the armory — but said the agency conducts an annual firearms inventory, which apparently began earlier this year. The spokesman described this as “standard and prudent” practice.
It is unclear if outside investigators — in addition to FAMS or TSA officials — were involved in the weapons checks. This followed email requests to training division heads in all the field offices asking them to confirm the whereabouts of guns registered to agency employees. Multiple sources say the agency continues to focus on tracking down all service and personal weapons purchased by FAMS employees on behalf of the agency.
Members of Congress continue to raise concerns about the allegations. On June 5, Reps. Tim Murphy, R-Pa., and David McKinley, R-W.Va., sent a letter to House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers, R-Ky., and Ranking Member Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., asking them to freeze plans for agency overhauls rolled out under Bray’s tenure as director, including the planned closure of six regional FAMS offices, until “further questions are answered and the TSA and DHS IG probes are complete.”
In introducing the measure, Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., referenced the “recently uncovered misuse of a federal firearms license” by an employee, adding “the former director bought several.” “TSA was less than forthcoming with Congress regarding this investigation,” he said.
A spokesman with the agency said, “TSA does not comment on proposed legislation.”