FORMER TSA SUPERVISOR PLEADS GUILTY TO STEALING FROM CHECKED LUGGAGE AT SEA-TAC
Defendant Admits to Stealing More Than $20,000 Worth of Items from Checked Bags; Jewelry Stolen, Pawned
RANDY PEPPER, 50, of Spanaway, Washington pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to the felony charge of being an officer or employee of the U.S. converting the property of another to his own benefit. The charge results from PEPPER’s theft of items of value, primarily jewelry, from checked luggage under his control at Sea-Tac Airport. PEPPER began working as a Supervisory Transportation Security Officer in September 2007. He was fired in July 2009, when the thefts were discovered. U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour will sentence PEPPER on November 19, 2010.
According to the plea agreement filed today, the thefts began no later than July 22, 2008. PEPPER removed money and jewelry from the luggage he was inspecting. Pawn shop records associated with PEPPER reveal that on or before July 22, 2008, he stole and pawned gold pins, sterling silver necklaces, earrings, bracelets and rings. On or before February 5, 2009, he stole a gold diamond ring and a gold topaz and diamond ring. On or before April 14, 2009 he stole a Geneve watch. On July 9, 2009, he stole a cloth bag containing coins and jewelry and on or before July 12, 2009, he stole a tan coin pouch/bill fold, a purple coin purse, a necklace and silver ring. Few of the items were recovered; most were melted down for the gold or silver content.
The thefts came to light when another TSA employee reported that he had seen PEPPER removing items from checked luggage. A review of surveillance video confirmed the thefts.
When sentenced PEPPER faces up to ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The case was investigated by the Transportation Security Administration Office of Inspection (TSA-OI).
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Darwin Roberts.
For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110 or Emily.Langlie@USDOJ.Gov.