Ex-TSA workers get 102 days for stealing from baggage
Two former screeners for the Transportation Security Administration were sentenced to three years' probation and 102 days in federal prison for stealing more than $20,000 worth of cash and property from baggage of outbound foreigners.
Prosecutors said they used the proceeds to finance an "extravagant" lifestyle.
Benny S. Arcano, 27, and Christopher Cadorna, 25, pleaded guilty earlier this year in U.S. District Court to one count each of taking more than $1,000 worth of property while in the course of their duties.
But prosecutors said yesterday that the two admitted they stole from passengers on more than 10 occasions and in some instances took about $20,000 to $30,000 worth of currency and property.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Ron Johnson had requested that both be sentenced within a range of four to 10 months, a slight reduction from the six to 12 months under advisory guidelines. Both cooperated with investigators after an airport employee observed Arcano removing an envelope from luggage in March 2005.
They both identified others who participated, including how they carried out the scheme. The two defendants apparently notified each other whenever they found money and divvied up the proceeds after converting the yen to U.S. dollars.
U.S. District Judge Susan Mollway considered their clean records before the thefts and their history of stable employment. But she said they deserved some incarceration because they abused the privilege of working for the federal government and violated the trust people have for those who work in government.
She allowed the two to serve their time intermittently on 32 consecutive weekends beginning as early as this weekend so that both can continue working at construction jobs that they secured shortly after they were let go by the TSA.
She also ordered both to pay a $2,000 fine and serve 450 hours of community service.
Defense attorney William Domingo said Arcano has taken responsibility for his actions, is deeply remorseful and recognizes how far-reaching his conduct has affected the "psyche of the public, TSA and the state," which depends largely on tourism.
Defense attorney Pam Tamashiro said Cadorna has unresolved anger-management problems that go back to his youth. While it is not an excuse, he might have been acting out against the internal personnel problems that TSA was experiencing at the time, she said.