Former BWI Airport Customs Officer Violated Security Rules: Prosecutor
Patch Regional Manager Deb Belt wrote this story last Tuesday.
BALTIMORE, MD — A former customs officer assigned to Baltimore Washington International Airport used his security credentials to board dozens of flights he took on his personal time in violation of security regulations.
A federal judge on Monday sentenced former Customs and Border Protection officer Supreme Jones, 32, of Atlanta, and formerly of Maryland, to five years’ probation after Jones pleaded guilty to two counts of entering an aircraft or airport security area in violation of security requirements. As a result of his federal conviction, at least during his five-year probation period, Jones will not be able to work in law enforcement, according to the U.S. attorney for the District of Maryland.
According to court documents, from 2018 through 2022, Jones was an armed CBP officer assigned as a uniformed officer at BWI Airport. He was issued credentials authorizing him to go into any area of BWI, including the areas beyond the Transportation Security Administration security checkpoints, for his official duties.
In June 2021, the FBI began investigating complaints that Jones was abusing his authority by using his credential to enter secure areas when flying for personal travel. According to court records, during a 14-month period Jones made more than 60 flights, either going from or returning to BWI. The FBI discovered that Jones was often entering the sterile area of BWI via the controlled exit portals when in civilian clothing by displaying his badge to the TSA Officer or TSO on duty at the exit.
Although a number of trips raised suspicions about Jones’ conduct, two itineraries in particular drew scrutiny, authorities said. On Feb. 21, 2022, Jones flew from BWI to Atlanta and did not declare he was armed on the flight. While in civilian clothes, he used his badge to enter the security area to reach the departure gate inside the airport. At the gate, Jones talked with the airline personnel, appeared to display a previously unseen limp and obtained a special needs boarding pass from the airline, enabling him priority boarding of the aircraft.
During this same travel period, Jones flew round-trip from Atlanta to Miami, then Miami to St. Martin. To justify a flight change and/or late arrival on the return flight, without incurring a flight change fee, Jones falsely represented that a military unit to which he was assigned had been involved in an accident; falsely identified his military superior; and provided a fictitious phone number, court records said.
On April 5, 2022, FBI agents conducted surveillance of Jones at BWI Airport, where he was seen on duty and in his uniform jumping a long line of passengers in line at an airline ticket counter to check in for a flight he was taking later that day in his personal capacity.
About 30 to 45 minutes before the departure time of his flight, FBI agents saw Jones entering the terminal through the exit point, rather than through the TSA security checkpoint. When the agents confronted Jones, he denied having a flight that day and said he was “…working…trailing somebody,” or words to the effect. A short while later, Jones was seen in the departure gate area for his Atlanta-bound flight.
Jones was arrested on June 26, 2022, as he was about to board a flight from BWI to Boston, with a scheduled return the following day.
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