Security at the airport has always been tight, but ever since the tragic terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, personnel at the airport have become particularly zealous about screening passengers. While the ends are noble, the means of this screening has drawn some criticism, including new screening machines that take a full-body image of passengers, leading some to be concerned about a violation of privacy. Also, security officers can pull any person aside for a random pat down at any point, which some feel violates basic rights.
One New Jersey man was recently the victim of such security measures in a Florida airport. TSA agents patted the man down and found that he was wearing two pairs of pants and various layers of clothing. Once he was brought to a private room for screening, agents reportedly found drug bottles with prescription drugs listed for another person and a bag with cocaine in it.
This may sound like a simple, open-and-shut case in which a person was caught red-handed with drugs, but no case is truly that simple. No matter how dire your circumstances, you can always benefit from legal expertise, which may be able to reduce your charges or have them dropped completely. Police officers must have probable cause to search a person without that person's permission. While the regulations for TSA agents are different from police officers, this man's rights may have been violated if he was pulled aside for a pat-down, especially if he was profiled for the pat down based on prejudiced behavior on the part of TSA.
The possibility of his rights being violated is only one potential defense that the man could use. The cocaine may have been planted on him while waiting in line to check his bags or near the security checkpoint, for instance. Always remember that there are legal defense options no matter how dire your circumstances may seem, and an attorney can help you make the most of your legal defense.
Source: Naples Daily News, "Man arrested at Fort Myers airport for possession of cocaine, prescription drugs," March 15, 2016