Top 10 list of most unusual finds at airport security checkpoints
These weren’t just oversize water bottles.
Every year, air-headed bozos around the country try to board planes with dangerous, illegal and downright ridiculous objects.
The year 2022 proved a banner one for both intentional and allegedly accidental smuggling incidents in the US, with many sky MacGyvers concocting unusual ways to sneak contraband past the Transportation Security Administration.
In honor of these mile-high morons, the TSA has unveiled a video listing the top 10 most ridiculous things they confiscated last year. They included drugs in candy bags, firearms hidden in poultry and other insane objects.
In the words of the governmental organization, what better way to “shout out to our TSA officers nationwide for protecting the traveling public,” right?
Taste the Rain-blow
A flyer put the “high” in “mile high club” after they were busted at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on Oct. 19 for trying to pass off narcotics as candy like a drug-trafficking Willy Wonka. Authorities found a total of 12,000 fentanyl pills hidden inside SweeTarts, Skittles and Whoppers candy packages.
Upon being discovered, the suspect fled the scene but was later identified. An investigation is reportedly ongoing.
With drug-detecting methods becoming more sophisticated, traffickers have devised creative ways to fly under the radar. In one hair-raising incident, officers at Idaho’s Boise Airport found drugs hidden inside hair scrunchies, although it’s unclear when the bust was actually made.
In November, a traveler won the award for the world’s worst Thanksgiving stuffing after trying to smuggle a plastic-wrapped handgun inside a whole, uncooked chicken. The fire-y poultry seasoning was exposed by officials at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
The TSA subsequently put the bozo on the Twitter rotisserie, writing: “There’s a personal fowl here. Our officers [at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood] made this very raw find.
“We hate to break it to you but stuffing a firearm in your holiday bird for travel is just a baste of time,” they quipped in the pun-stuffed post.
Perhaps the crown jewel of gastronomic gun smuggling attempts belongs to a Rhode Island traveler who was busted with a peanut butter-camouflaged firearm at New York’s JFK International Airport in November. He had reportedly tried to smuggle a disassembled .22-caliber semi-automatic handgun through security in two jars of JIF.
His nutty scheme backfired after the metal components triggered an alarm on the X-ray machine, after which TSA officials discovered the “extra-crunchy” bread spread. They subsequently notified Port Authority officials, who confiscated the parcel and arrested the man.
Just in case there weren’t enough guns in video games: TSA officials were astonished after discovering a pistol concealed inside a Playstation console while examining X-rays at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) in December.
“It looked odd — like it was missing pieces or there were components missing,” said lead TSA Officer Theodosia White, who made the shocking discovery. “No circuitry was missing (in the game). The fan was there, but a gun looked to be artfully concealed.”
A supervisor subsequently confirmed that the object was indeed a firearm, and law enforcement then questioned the individual, who admitted he’d put his piece inside an old PlayStation to transport it back to California. Atlanta police subsequently confiscated the weapon.
In a similar smuggling scheme in November, a passenger was busted with a knife hidden deep within the bowels of his laptop at Richmond International Airport. A TSA officer thought something was awry after spotting what appeared to be a knife inside the flyer’s carry-on luggage — but when officers searched the bag, they couldn’t find the weapon.
At long last, officials realized that the knife was “in the computer,” à la “Zoolander.” They disassembled the machine and discovered a double-edged blade taped to the computer’s inner circuitry.
Officers confiscated the knife and allowed the blade-runner to continue his travels.
A real gun-slinger
TSA officers grew suspicious after a scanner went off while screening a sling-wearing passenger at New York’s Frederick Douglass Greater Rochester International Airport. They asked the traveler to remove the cast and put it in a bin, and he then explained it was heavy due to having metal in it. It turned out, however, he was not lying about its heft: the sling had a loaded handgun concealed inside like a James Bond movie weapon.
The flyer claimed he’d forgotten about the gun, which was located just inches from his trigger finger.
Guitar cases are often seen being used to conceal, say, machine guns in noir gangster flicks. However, one enterprising flyer flipped the script after smuggling three cattle prods in his instrument holder at Dulles International Airport in Washington D.C. After making the shocking discovery, TSA allowed him to repack them into his checked luggage.
“Sometimes people get the feeling that they are being herded through airports, but this is certainly no solution!” TSA spokesperson Lisa Farbstein quipped in a Tweet.
TSA agents learned that money can be a crutch after confiscating a pair of braces crammed with soiled money at the airport in El Paso Texas, per the video countdown. However, it’s not clear when they made the discovery.
Either way, taking away the dough might’ve left this smuggler without a financial leg to stand on.
The most explosive discovery occurred in July when a Milwaukee TSA official identified a bomb-shaped image on an X-ray. The passenger explained that it was a replica grenade he’d bought for his son while at an air show in Oshkosh.
Milwaukee County sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the checkpoint, where they verified that the explosive was inert.
The grenade was confiscated and the passenger was cited.