TSA Agent Accused Of Accepting Bribes To Smuggle Pot Onto Planes
LOS ANGELES (CBS) — The son of Los Angeles’ former fire chief, Millage Peaks, has been arrested for allegedly bribing a TSA agent to help him smuggle marijuana on board a flight.
Authorities arrested Millage Peaks Jr., 23, Sunday morning on charges of smuggling 10-15 pounds of pot on a flight from Los Angeles International Airport to Boston.
“It’s a fair amount. I think it was purchased for about $38,000 and was gonna be resold for some amount greater than that,” said Robert Little, Peaks’ attorney.
Peaks Jr. admitted he bribed a TSA agent, Dianna Perez, to let his suitcase go through security screening for an American Airlines flight. He and Perez also said that they had worked together before and that several thousands of dollars had exchanged hands.
Perez, 28, was also arrested. She was charged with accepting the alleged bribe.
Peaks Jr. has been charged with bribing a public official, according to the FBI.
The arrest came when the suitcase was searched after other baggage handlers smelled marijuana.
According to the FBI affidavit, “Peaks had arranged for Perez to help him move bags containing marijuana through airport security for a fee. He intended to pay Perez $500 for each bag that she helped bypass security.”
The FBI affidavit said Peaks claimed Perez had helped him “circumvent security nine previous times.”
Officials said Perez had denied everything at first, but later admitted to taking “big tips” for helping bags bypass security in the past.
Peaks’ father, as well as his sister, who is an LAX officer, said they did not know he was selling drugs.
“I can’t say he’s been very cooperative with law enforcement, with me, and with the process and it’s part of the reason he’s bonding out within the next few hours,” said Little.