Former LAX TSA Officer Sentenced for Drug Trafficking Charges
LOS ANGELES – A federal judge last week sentenced a former Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Officer to 2 years and 3 months in federal prison for participating in a narcotics-trafficking conspiracy.
United States District Judge John A. Kronstadt on Thursday, September 1st sentenced ex-TSA Officer Ronald McCrea, 32, who pleaded guilty last year to two felony counts: conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute controlled substances, and possession with intent to distribute fentanyl.
On April 1, 2021, the DEA LAX Narcotics Task Force (LAXNTF) arrested a McCrea and a courier, Daveon Baker, 33, at Los Angeles International airport (LAX) for attempting to smuggle one kilogram of fentanyl, one kilogram of cocaine and ten kilograms of crystal methamphetamine on a commercial flight traveling to Charlotte, North Carolina. The former TSA Officer used his position to smuggle the illegal drugs past the TSA security check point and delivered the drugs to the courier within the secure area of the airport terminal.
On June 4, 2021, Baker pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute & possess with intent to distribute controlled substances and possession with intent to distribute fentanyl. Baker is currently scheduled to be sentenced on November 3, 2022.
During this investigation Deontae Donald Griffin, 31, was identified as the person who recruited the former TSA Officer to smuggle drugs at LAX. On October 1, 2021, Griffin was indicted by the Federal Grand Jury for Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine. On October 22, 2021, Griffin was arrested in Downtown Los Angeles and on November 30, 2021, Griffin pled guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.
On March 15, 2022, United States District Judge Steven Wilson sentenced Griffin to 14 years in federal prison for possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Griffin is appealing his sentence.
Assistant United States Attorneys Gregory Bernstein and Juan Rodriguez from the Major Frauds section are prosecuting this case.
The following agencies participated in this investigation: Drug Enforcement Administration Los Angeles Field Division, Los Angeles World Airports Police Department, TSA Investigations, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, Los Angeles Police Department, Irwindale Police Department, Homeland Security Investigations and Federal Bureau of Investigation.
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Los Angeles Field Division is the 2nd largest division in DEA and responsible for the seven largest counties in Southern California—Los Angeles, Orange County, Ventura, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, as well as the states of Nevada (Las Vegas/Reno), and Hawaii (Oahu/Maui), and the U. S. Territories of Guam and Saipan.