Customs Cover-ups Exposed by Courageous Agent
Let us be deeply thankful for the many courageous souls who are stepping forward as whistle-blowers on major government corruption. The following article contains excerpts from the highly informative website of a US Customs whistle-blower Diane Kleiman. I know from various reliable sources that drug smuggling is a major source of income of many corrupt individuals in our police, customs, DEA, and political bodies.
Why isn't the press covering these most disturbing allegations? By working together to spread the word, we can build the critical mass necessary to turn all of this around. I also invite us to look at what areas of our lives are we hiding or not being in full integrity. By working to transform ourselves, we are playing a vital role in the transformation of our planet.
With very best wishes,
To all the readers who have come to my site to learn more about the inner workings of the U.S. Custom's Service, I thought I'd write a brief synopsis of my case and what I experienced and the corruption I exposed while serving as a Special Agent at JFK Airport in New York. My hope is that it will instill enough anger into each and every reader so that you will write to your senators and congressmen to demand reform and accountability. I hope that you will take the time to write a letter to express your outrage about what happens to the whistle blowers in these agencies because it is the whistle blowers that will save your lives. The following is an account of some of my experiences while working for the U.S. Customs Service at JFK airport.
On February 3, 1999, as a novice agent, I arrested two suspects and nearly $750,000 in cash. At some point while the currency was in the custody of the U.S. Customs Service, approximately $300,000 simply disappeared. I made note of the missing money in the "Report of Investigation" (ROI). My boss, Tom Flood, after a review of that report, ordered me to change the amount of the missing cash to a mere $44,000. It is interesting to note that all rooms at JFK Customs are equipped with video cameras--with one exception: the room where the currency is counted has no camera. I assumed that even a $44,00 discrepancy would spark interest from higher up in the agency. I was wrong. To my surprise, no internal affairs investigation was initiated. Instead, I was alienated and isolated from the group. While this was my first arrest, Supervisor, Tom Flood ordered the other agents in the office not to assist me.
As it turned out, one of the two suspects was already wanted by the DEA so he was turned over to them. It was through this cooperative effort that I began to work with a DEA agent from Florida. I had already become an outcast in the JFK office by reporting the missing $300,000. I now found myself without assistance from my supervisor or coworkers as I tried to do my job. Fortunately, I was getting assistance from another source. My contact at DEA in Florida told me about the smuggling operation at JFK and how the ring operated. An airline employee with keys to the ramp is booked on the same flight on which the courier (mule) brings drugs. The airline employee uses his keys and access as an employee, to exit the airport along with the mule, bypassing Customs, Security and Immigrations checkpoints. Using information obtained in the arrest and the information from the DEA, I began an investigation.
Tom Flood expected that without guidance or assistance I would fail, but instead just the opposite happened. Within 6 weeks I made an important arrest. The case involved a conspiracy of airline workers at JFK who were smuggling massive amounts of drugs through the airport. The drugs ultimately found their way to the streets of New York. I arrested the mule who had 46.2 pounds of cocaine, I detained an airline employee, who was seated directly behind the mule with the keys to all the exit gates and I detained a New York City police detective seated with the other two. The DEA agent had described this exact smuggling scenario to me after making numerous arrests in Florida based on the same pattern. Tom Flood, my supervisor, released everyone except the mule, which in my opinion was insane. Having been a prosecutor for 6 years prior to my service with U.S. Customs, and having been an ATF agent as well, I know my agency could have gotten an indictment on that airline employee and maybe on the detective as well. Instead of arrest, that same employee was back at work on the airport ramps the very next day.
As it turned out, I was in trouble. I was called into a meeting with Flood who ordered me to commit perjury before the Grand Jury. He said that it would be embarrassing for Customs to admit that drugs were being smuggled in right under our noses. Even more embarrassing is that it took DEA to inform us of the problem. This was now an agency turf war ,and I was seen as being on the wrong side. I informed my supervisor that I would not lie before the Grand Jury and he threatened me with termination. I did not commit perjury and the DEA Agent involved in the arrest subsequently backed up my account of what transpired.
Firing me presented yet another problem for those in charge at JFK. So far, my evaluations had always been excellent. They had to make me look incompetent before I could be let go. Tom Flood told me that he would re-write all my evaluations and make it look as if I had been doing a bad job. He had already stolen my evaluation book from a locked cabinet--but I had copies of the originals. I was fired. A year later there was an investigation on the circumstances of my termination and Tom Flood lied to the investigator. He presented re-written evaluations and stated that these were the only evaluations that had ever existed. These evaluations showed me to be an inferior agent and differed greatly from the positive versions (copies of the originals) which I gave to the investigator. Tom Flood was asked if my evaluations had been amended or superseded, he said that they had not. The investigator informed Flood's boss, Marvin Walker, that she had copies of the original evaluations and that Flood was lying. Walker told her to wait while he went to Flood's office for more information. An hour later, with Flood and Walker still behind closed doors, the investigator ended the meeting and decided to let the case go to trial. A Federal trial on my wrongful termination is set for the end of 2004.
At JFK, it is business as usual. The same people are in charge and the problems continue unchecked. You, the public, are placed at risk every day while believing that things have changed in these days since 9/11. However since 9/11, there have been numerous violations. People with access to the ramps are NOT checked when they enter or leave the ramps. This means that drugs, money, bombs and guns can be placed on or removed from planes by airport workers in the course of their daily work. Even the best passenger screening is meaningless if weapons are put on the planes by accomplices with access to the aircraft. Many of these employees are illegal aliens and have criminal backgrounds. Ramp workers were not screened by the federal government 2 years following 9/11. Finally, and most important, it doesn't matter what new procedures are enacted in Washington DC when supervisors at the ports of entry are incompetent, engaged in criminal activity and corruption or both. When the bosses are inept, the morale of the rank and file declines, leaving our borders unprotected. Here is a list of some recent incidents at JKF under the supervision of Tom Flood:
- 6/21/2002 - A group of American Airline workers are arrested for taking bribes of $1000 a head to smuggle illegal aliens through the airport using their pass keys, smuggling them through the sterile corridors, the same method I had described in March, 1999.
- 8/9/2002 - Discovered that thousands of US Customs employee credentials and computers with sensitive information were reported lost or stolen.
- 11/18/2002 - 118 ramp workers arrested at JFK who were illegal aliens and/or had criminal histories.
- 6/14/2003 - Naked man arrested found wondering on the ramps of LaGuardia Airport. Obviously, this man was mentally ill but he had broken security and if he was wearing overalls, nobody would have noticed him and he could have placed an explosive device on a plane.
- 8/12/2003 - 3 boat kids were washed ashore on the ramps of JFK and were wandering around for hours without being stopped. Imagine the kind of havoc they could have caused if they had bad intentions. They had to spend hours trying to seek out help from the police.
- 11/25/2003 - 25 airline ramp workers who were part of a large drug conspiracy ring were arrested for smuggling in huge amounts of drugs into the country, including the largest drug arrest in the history of JFK Airport. In a 14 month period alone, they smuggled into the US $50 million dollars worth of cocaine. They should have been arrested earlier but their arrest was timed for when a Congressional group was going to be at JFK that day. Customs denied that drugs were smuggled under their noses for over a decade, yet all my written documentation proves that Customs was well aware of the drug smuggling operation since at least 1999.
how many kids could have been spared drug addictions and possibly overdoses
during this five year time frame. The method for smuggling the drugs into the
country is the same as the method for smuggling surface to air missiles,
firearms, biological, chemical or nuclear devices, yet instead of conducting
an investigation, the agency continues to attack the whistle blower, the
person who exposes the problem. If whistle blowers are silenced, our country
is left unprotected.
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