Federal Air Marshal Service
Overview
The Federal Air Marshal Service (FAMS) is a United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 federal law enforcement agency under the supervision of the Transportation Security Administration
Transportation Security Administration
The Transportation Security Administration is an agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that exercises authority over the safety and security of the traveling public in the United States....

 (TSA) of the United States Department of Homeland Security
United States Department of Homeland Security
The United States Department of Homeland Security is a cabinet department of the United States federal government, created in response to the September 11 attacks, and with the primary responsibilities of protecting the territory of the United States and protectorates from and responding to...

 (DHS). The Air Marshal service is meant to promote confidence in civil aviation by effectively deploying Federal Air Marshals (FAMs) to detect, deter, and defeat hostile acts targeting the United States.

Because of the nature of their occupation, Federal Air Marshals (FAMs) travel often.
Encyclopedia
The Federal Air Marshal Service (FAMS) is a United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 federal law enforcement agency under the supervision of the Transportation Security Administration
Transportation Security Administration
The Transportation Security Administration is an agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that exercises authority over the safety and security of the traveling public in the United States....

 (TSA) of the United States Department of Homeland Security
United States Department of Homeland Security
The United States Department of Homeland Security is a cabinet department of the United States federal government, created in response to the September 11 attacks, and with the primary responsibilities of protecting the territory of the United States and protectorates from and responding to...

 (DHS). The Air Marshal service is meant to promote confidence in civil aviation by effectively deploying Federal Air Marshals (FAMs) to detect, deter, and defeat hostile acts targeting the United States.

Because of the nature of their occupation, Federal Air Marshals (FAMs) travel often. As officers, they are required to maintain what is the highest standard for handgun
Handgun
A handgun is a firearm designed to be held and operated by one hand. This characteristic differentiates handguns as a general class of firearms from long guns such as rifles and shotguns ....

 accuracy in all of Federal Law Enforcement. A FAM's job is to blend in with other passengers on board aircraft and rely heavily on their training, including investigative techniques, criminal terrorist behavior recognition, firearm
Firearm
A firearm is a weapon that launches one, or many, projectile at high velocity through confined burning of a propellant. This subsonic burning process is technically known as deflagration, as opposed to supersonic combustion known as a detonation. In older firearms, the propellant was typically...

s proficiency, aircraft specific tactics, and close quarters self-defense
Self-defense
Self-defense, self-defence or private defense is a countermeasure that involves defending oneself, one's property or the well-being of another from physical harm. The use of the right of self-defense as a legal justification for the use of force in times of danger is available in many...

 measures to protect the flying public.

History

The air marshal program was originally created by President John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy , often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963....

 in 1963. He ordered that federal law enforcement officers be deployed to act as security officers on certain high-risk flights. The Federal Air Marshal Service began in 1968 as the Federal Aviation Administration
Federal Aviation Administration
The Federal Aviation Administration is the national aviation authority of the United States. An agency of the United States Department of Transportation, it has authority to regulate and oversee all aspects of civil aviation in the U.S...

’s (FAA) Sky Marshal
Sky marshal
A sky marshal is an undercover law enforcement or counter terrorist agent on board a commercial aircraft to counter aircraft hijackings...

Program. It was initially composed of 6 volunteers from the FAA's Flight Standards Division who were trained in firearms at Brownsville, Texas
Brownsville, Texas
Brownsville is a city in the southernmost tip of the state of Texas, in the United States. It is located on the northern bank of the Rio Grande, directly north and across the border from Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico. Brownsville is the 16th largest city in the state of Texas with a population of...

. Later, it became an integral part of the Civil Aviation Security Division of the FAA and was expanded using volunteers from that division. These personnel were given firearms and some close quarters combat training at the FBI Academy
FBI Academy
The FBI Academy, located in Quantico, Virginia, is the training site for new Special Agents of the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was first opened for use in 1972 on 385 acres of woodland. It is a relatively small government academy, housing three dormitory buildings and...

 located on the US Marine Corps training grounds at Quantico, VA.

In 1969, in response to increasing acts of air piracy, President Nixon ordered the immediate deployment of armed federal agents on United States commercial aircraft to counter the increasing threat of air piracy by unbalanced individuals and terrorist organizations. Initially, the deployed personnel were federal agents from the Department of Treasury. Subsequently, the United States Customs Service formed the Division of Air Security, and established the position of Customs Security Officer. Approximately 1700 personnel were hired for the position of Customs Security Officer and were trained at the Treasury Air Security Officer training complex at Ft. Belvoir, Virginia. CSO's were deployed on US registered commercial aircraft flying both on domestic and international routes in an undercover capacity in teams of 2 and 3. CSO's also handled ground security screening on selected flights at domestic US airports.

Following the mandatory passenger screening enacted by the FAA at US airports beginning in 1973, the Customs Security Officer force was disbanded and its personnel were absorbed within the US Customs Service. By 1974 armed Sky Marshals were a rarity on US aircraft and the former CSO's had been reassigned as Customs Patrol Officers, Customs Inspectors, and Customs Special Agents.

In 1985, President Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

 requested the expansion of the program and Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

 enacted the International Security and Development Cooperation Act, which expanded the statutes that supported the Federal Air Marshal Service. Contrary to the impression given in the TSA Our Mission statement, the FAM program was begun in response to domestic hijackings and FAM operational flights were almost exclusively conducted on domestic US flights until 1985. After the hijacking of TWA Flight 847
TWA Flight 847
TWA Flight 847 was an international Trans World Airlines flight which was hijacked by Lebanese Shia extremists, later identified as members of Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad, on Friday morning, June 14, 1985, after originally taking off from Cairo. The flight was en route from Athens to Rome and then...

 in 1985 and the enactment of the International Security and Development Cooperation Act, the number of FAMs was increased and their focus became international US Air Carrier operations. Due to resistance of several countries e.g., the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 and the Federal Republic of Germany to having individuals carrying firearms entering their countries the coverage of international flight operations was initially spotty. As resistance to the entrance of armed personnel to their countries was overcome through bilateral negotiations and agreements reached as to the terms and handling of the weapons when they were brought in country, the FAMs were able to operate worldwide in carrying out their mission to protect US aviation from hijackings.

Air Marshals were originally designated as US Customs Security Officers assigned by order of President John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy , often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963....

 on an as-needed basis, and later were specially trained FAA personnel. Also contrary to the impression from the TSA Our Mission statement, the Customs Officers were phased out in 1971-1972. Many of them transferred to the FAA Civil Aviation Security Division to serve as Aviation Security Inspectors and also in the volunteer FAM program directed by the FAA's Civil Aviation Security Division.

Before September 11, 2001, the Federal Air Marshal Service consisted of varying numbers of FAMs depending upon the perceived threat and funding availability. Only 33 FAMs were active on 09/11/01. As a result of the 9/11 attacks
September 11, 2001 attacks
The September 11 attacks The September 11 attacks The September 11 attacks (also referred to as September 11, September 11th or 9/119/11 is pronounced "nine eleven". The slash is not part of the pronunciation...

, President George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 ordered the rapid expansion of the Federal Air Marshal Service. Many new hires were agents from other federal agencies, such as the U.S. Border Patrol, U.S. Housing and Urban Development Office of the Inspector General (OIG), Drug Enforcement Administration
Drug Enforcement Administration
The Drug Enforcement Administration is a federal law enforcement agency under the United States Department of Justice, tasked with combating drug smuggling and use within the United States...

, U.S. Postal Inspection Service
United States Postal Inspection Service
The United States Postal Inspection Service is the law enforcement arm of the United States Postal Service. Its jurisdiction is defined as "crimes that may adversely affect or fraudulently use the U.S...

, ATF
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is a federal law enforcement organization within the United States Department of Justice...

, IRS CID
IRS Criminal Investigation Division
Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation investigates potential criminal violations of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code and related financial crimes in a manner intended to foster confidence in the tax system and compliance with the law...

, and many others. A classified number of applicants were hired, trained, and deployed on flights around the world. As of August, 2006, this number is estimated to be in the thousands. Currently, these FAMs serve as the primary law enforcement entity within the Transportation Security Administration
Transportation Security Administration
The Transportation Security Administration is an agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that exercises authority over the safety and security of the traveling public in the United States....

 (TSA).

On October 16, 2005, Homeland Security Secretary
United States Secretary of Homeland Security
The United States Secretary of Homeland Security is the head of the United States Department of Homeland Security, the body concerned with protecting the American homeland and the safety of American citizens. The Secretary is a member of the President's Cabinet. The position was created by the...

 Michael Chertoff
Michael Chertoff
Michael Chertoff was the second United States Secretary of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush and co-author of the USA PATRIOT Act. He previously served as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, as a federal prosecutor, and as assistant U.S. Attorney...

 officially approved the transfer of the Federal Air Marshal Service from the Bureau of Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) to TSA as part of a broader departmental reorganization to align functions consistent with the Department of Homeland Security
United States Department of Homeland Security
The United States Department of Homeland Security is a cabinet department of the United States federal government, created in response to the September 11 attacks, and with the primary responsibilities of protecting the territory of the United States and protectorates from and responding to...

 (DHS) "Second Stage Review" findings for the following:
  1. consolidating and strengthening aviation law enforcement and security at the Federal level;
  2. creating a common approach to stakeholder outreach; and
  3. improving the coordination and efficiency of aviation security operations.


As part of this realignment, the Director of the Federal Air Marshal Service also became the Assistant Administrator for the TSA Office of Law Enforcement (OLE), which houses nearly all TSA law enforcement services.

Securing other modes of transportation

Main article: Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response team
Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response team
A Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response team, sometimes Visible Intermodal Protection and Response is a Transportation Security Administration program. Various government sources have differing descriptions of VIPR's exact mission...



Since July 2004, TSA has provided supplemental personnel, including Federal Air Marshals, to assist mass transit systems during major events, holidays, and anniversaries of prior attacks. These TSA personnel deploy as Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response Teams (VIPR teams), whose goal is to provide a random, unannounced, unpredictable, high-visibility presence in a mass transit or passenger rail environment. The level of assistance transit systems request depends on a transit system’s local political and security environment. Beginning in July 2007, TSA significantly increased the number and frequency of VIPR deployments, from an average of one exercise per month to one or two exercises per week.

There were issues with federal air marshals and early VIPR deployments. TSA field officials said the initial exercises put their safety at risk. TSA required federal air marshals to wear raid jackets or shirts identifying them as air marshals, which potentially compromised their anonymity. In response to this concern, TSA changed the policy; federal air marshals now attend VIPR exercises in civilian clothes or jackets that simply identify them as DHS officials. Some transit security officials reported that federal air marshals were unfamiliar with local laws, local police procedures, the range of behavior encountered on public transportation, and the parameters of their authority as federal law enforcement officers. In 2011 Amtrak
Amtrak
The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, doing business as Amtrak , is a government-owned corporation that was organized on May 1, 1971, to provide intercity passenger train service in the United States. "Amtrak" is a portmanteau of the words "America" and "track". It is headquartered at Union...

 temporarily banned VIPR teams from its property after screenings at the Savannah, Georgia station that Amtrak police chief John O'Conner called illegal and violations of Amtrak policy.

Organization

  • Assistant Administrator TSA Office of Law Enforcement (OLE)/Director of FAMS: Robert S. Bray http://www.tsa.gov/who_we_are/people/bios/robert_bray_bio.shtm
  • Deputy Assistant Administrator TSA OLE/Deputy Director of FAMS
  • Assistant Director, Office of Field Operations
    • Deputy Assistant Director, Eastern Region (11 Field Offices)
    • Deputy Assistant Director, Western Region (10 Field Offices)
  • Assistant Director, Office of Flight Operations
    • Transportation Security Operations Center
    • Systems Operations Control Division/FAMS Mission Operations Center
    • Investigations Division
    • Liaison Division
    • Flight Programs Division
    • Emergency Preparedness Division
  • Assistant Director, Office of Training & Workforce Planning
    • Training Management Division
    • Federal Air Marshal Training Center (New Jersey & New Mexico)
  • Assistant Director, Office of Security Services & Assessments
    • Office of Security
    • Office of the National Explosives Detection Canine Team Program
    • Security Assessments Division
    • Explosives Division
  • Assistant Director, Office of Administration & Technical Services
    • Management & Organization Division
    • Management Operations Division
    • Policy and Procedures Division
    • Infrastructure Support & Development Division

Training

Federal Air Marshals or Civil Aviation Security Specialists go through an intense, two-phase training program. The first phase of the program is a seven-week basic law enforcement course. This training is completed at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Artesia, New Mexico
Artesia, New Mexico
Artesia is a city in Eddy County, New Mexico, United States, centered at the intersection of U.S. Route 82 and 285; the two highways serve as the city's Main Street and First Street, respectively...

; Air Marshals also receive follow-on training at the William J. Hughes Technical Center
William J. Hughes Technical Center
The FAA William J. Hughes Technical Center is the world's premier aviation research and development, and test and evaluation facility. The Technical Center serves as the national scientific test base for the FAA...

 in New Jersey
New Jersey
New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

. Their training is tailored to the role that the Federal Air Marshals will be performing while on the job. Some of the specific areas covered in this training include constitutional law, marksmanship, physical fitness, behavioral observation, defensive tactics, emergency medical assistance, and other law enforcement techniques.

The second phase trains the candidates for tasks that they will be expected to carry out in the field. This training places an emphasis on perfecting the marksmanship skills of the candidates; a necessity of the job due to the tight confines of an aircraft, as well as the number of bystanders. Candidates who successfully complete this training will be assigned to one of 21 field offices, where they will begin their missions.

Equipment and practices

The Air Marshals may be deployed on as little as an hour's notice and at high risk locations. Undercover Air Marshals were deployed on flights in and out of New Orleans during Super Bowl XXXVI
Super Bowl XXXVI
Super Bowl XXXVI was an American football game played on February 3, 2002 at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana to decide the National Football League champion following the 2001 regular season. The American Football Conference champion New England Patriots won their first Super...

 in 2002; flights coming near Salt Lake City during the 2002 Winter Olympics
2002 Winter Olympics
The 2002 Winter Olympics, officially the XIX Olympic Winter Games, were a winter multi-sport event that was celebrated in February 2002 in and around Salt Lake City, Utah, United States. Approximately 2,400 athletes from 77 nations participated in 78 events in fifteen disciplines, held throughout...

; and cities visited by the President.

Federal Air Marshals carry the Sig Sauer P229 service pistol in a .357 SIG
.357 SIG
The .357 SIG pistol cartridge is the product of Swiss-German firearms manufacturer SIG-Sauer, in cooperation with the American ammunition manufacturer Federal Cartridge. While it is based on a .40 S&W case necked down to accept bullets, the .357 SIG brass is slightly longer...

 chambering and also carry a Baton. As noted above, Air Marshals must be re-certified on their firearm quarterly. According to an anonymous Air Marshal, they are trained to "shoot to stop", typically firing at the largest part of the body (the chest) and then the head to "incapacitate the nervous system".

The US Federal Air Marshal Service signed a multi-million dollar contract for procurement of the SIG Sauer P250 Compact chambered for the .357 SIG
.357 SIG
The .357 SIG pistol cartridge is the product of Swiss-German firearms manufacturer SIG-Sauer, in cooperation with the American ammunition manufacturer Federal Cartridge. While it is based on a .40 S&W case necked down to accept bullets, the .357 SIG brass is slightly longer...

 cartridge in 2009.

Federal Air Marshal Frank Terreri of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA) successfully sued senior executives of the Department of Homeland Security complaining that policies prevented Air Marshals from speaking out that current policies (such as their strict dress code, "Federal Air Marshal discount" mandatory grouping hotel policy. A policy change in August 2006 allows Air Marshals to wear whatever clothing they want and stay at any hotel to protect their anonymity,

Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Budgeting issues within the TSA created tension between funding for airport screeners versus the FAMS, and in time the FAMS was realigned to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The reasoning was that the FAMS could be re-designated as Criminal Investigator/Special Agent
Special agent
Special agent is usually the title for a detective or investigator for a state, county, municipal, federal or tribal government. An agent is a worker for any federal agency, and a secret agent is one who works for an intelligence agency....

s and would have a career path. ICE also had an investigative division with Special Agents specializing in investigating immigration and customs violations. Those immigration and customs agents would be cross trained to serve as supplemental FAMS in the event of a national emergency or in response to intelligence requiring additional marshals on flights.

Ultimately, one of Asa Hutchinson
Asa Hutchinson
William Asa Hutchinson is a former U.S. Attorney for the Fort Smith-based Western District of Arkansas, U.S. Congressman from the Third District of Arkansas, Administrator of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the first-ever Under Secretary for Border & Transportation Security at the U.S...

's final decisions before resigning as head of DHS's Border and Transportation Security Directorate was the issuance of a memorandum
Memorandum
A memorandum is from the Latin verbal phrase memorandum est, the gerundive form of the verb memoro, "to mention, call to mind, recount, relate", which means "It must be remembered ..."...

 determining that Air Marshals would not also be ICE Special Agents. In 2005, Homeland Security Secretary
United States Secretary of Homeland Security
The United States Secretary of Homeland Security is the head of the United States Department of Homeland Security, the body concerned with protecting the American homeland and the safety of American citizens. The Secretary is a member of the President's Cabinet. The position was created by the...

 Michael Chertoff
Michael Chertoff
Michael Chertoff was the second United States Secretary of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush and co-author of the USA PATRIOT Act. He previously served as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, as a federal prosecutor, and as assistant U.S. Attorney...

 conducted a second-stage review of DHS' organization and ordered the FAMS to be moved from ICE and back to the TSA. The move to TSA was effective October 1, 2005.

Rigoberto Alpizar incident

On December 7, 2005, Federal Air Marshals shot and killed 44-year-old U.S. citizen Rigoberto Alpizar
Rigoberto Alpizar
Rigoberto Alpizar was a Costa Rican-born United States citizen who was fatally shot at Miami International Airport by two United States federal air marshals....

, a passenger of American Airlines Flight 924, on a boarding bridge at Miami International Airport
Miami International Airport
Miami International Airport , also known as MIA and historically Wilcox Field, is the primary airport serving the South Florida area...

.

According to initial media reports of the incident, a fight broke out between Alpizar and his wife, after which Alpizar suddenly ran up the aisle from the back of the plane. Lonny Glover, national safety coordinator for the Association of Professional Flight Attendants
Association of Professional Flight Attendants
The Association of Professional Flight Attendants represents the 19,900 US-based flight attendants of American Airlines. APFA union headquarters is located in Euless, Texas....

, said, "As the man came forward it was obvious that he was upset ... That's when one of our attendants at the front of plane told him, 'Sir, you can't leave the plane.' His response, she said, was 'I have a bomb.' It was at that point that the air marshals gave up their cover and pursued him out the door and up the jet bridge."

On December 8, 2005, White House
White House
The White House is the official residence and principal workplace of the president of the United States. Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., the house was designed by Irish-born James Hoban, and built between 1792 and 1800 of white-painted Aquia sandstone in the Neoclassical...

 spokesman Scott McClellan
Scott McClellan
Scott McClellan is a former White House Press Secretary for President George W. Bush, and author of a controversial No. 1 New York Times bestseller about the Bush Administration titled What Happened. He replaced Ari Fleischer as press secretary in July 2003 and served until May 10, 2006...

 said that the President was satisfied that air marshals acted appropriately in the Alpizar shooting.

Sensitive Security Information (SSI)

Sensitive Security Information
Sensitive Security Information
Sensitive Security Information is a category of sensitive but unclassified information under the United States government's information sharing and control rules...

 (SSI) is a label used for unclassified information that could compromise aviation safety.

On July 29, 2003, the FAMS Agency Executive Vice President for the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA), FAM Robert MacLean
Robert MacLean
On August 25, 2011, the United States Office of Special Counsel declared former TSA Federal Air Marshal Robert MacLean a whistleblower. On July 28, 2003, MacLean made a disclosure exposing the Transportation Security Administration's cost-cutting plan that would have violated federal law 49 USC...

, disclosed that the FAMS planned to remove air marshals from long haul flights in order to avoid the cost of an overnight hotel stay. The plan was ordered when TSA was faced with a budget shortfall and right after DHS issued a July 26, 2003 warning that terrorists were planning to smuggle weapons onboard aircraft leaving the U.S. East Coast, United Kingdom, Italy, and Australia with the intention of hijacking them. After Congressional outrage, the plan was cancelled before going into effect. This plan was at odds with the Aviation and Transportation Security Act
Aviation and Transportation Security Act
The Aviation and Transportation Security Act was enacted by the 107th United States Congress in the immediate aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks. The Act created the Transportation Security Administration within the U.S. Department of Transportation...

 (ATSA), whose Section 105 states that "Deployment of Federal Air Marshals... [on] nonstop, long distance flights, such as those targeted on September 11, 2001, should be a priority."

MacLean was fired for "Unauthorized Disclosure of Sensitive Security Information (SSI)" as a result of his whistleblower disclosure. He is challenging this charge in the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. He claims that his termination was a retaliatory act in violation of the Whistleblower Protection Act
Whistleblower Protection Act
-Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989:The Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 is a United States federal law that protects federal whistleblowers who work for the government and report agency misconduct...

 (WPA) and a spending ban in appropriations law, commonly known as the Anti-Gag Statute
Anti-Gag Statute
The anti-gag statute is a little-known legal boundary in the long struggle in the United States between Executive Branch secrecy and the United States Congress and the public’s right to know...

.

Other controversies

In recent years the Federal Air Marshal Service has been the subject of controversies related to the number of flights that air marshals actually man and of criminal activities involving air marshals. CNN conducted an investigative report by Drew Griffin that included current and former air marshals that accused TSA of hyping the numbers of manned flights and of poor quality training. The TSA has rejected the report and pursued investigations into personnel who gave interviews to the media. They also responded to the accusations.

Another investigation was conducted by reporter Amy Davis of Houston news station KPRC into the possibility that air marshals with criminal convictions were still being employed by FAMS. The investigation discovered that 28 had been hired with pre-existing misdemeanors and that several current air marshals had been convicted of or were awaiting trial for offenses including disorderly conduct, DUI's, and sexual crimes against children. The investigation led to US Congressman Ted Poe of Houston getting involved.

On August 6, 2006, two air marshals were sentenced in the Southern District of Texas (Houston) after having been convicted of conspiring to possess with intent to distribute cocaine
Cocaine
Cocaine is a crystalline tropane alkaloid that is obtained from the leaves of the coca plant. The name comes from "coca" in addition to the alkaloid suffix -ine, forming cocaine. It is a stimulant of the central nervous system, an appetite suppressant, and a topical anesthetic...

 and bribery
Bribery
Bribery, a form of corruption, is an act implying money or gift giving that alters the behavior of the recipient. Bribery constitutes a crime and is defined by Black's Law Dictionary as the offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting of any item of value to influence the actions of an official or...

 charges. According to a DOJ press release "Shawn Ray Nguyen, 38, and Burlie L. Sholar, 33, were sentenced to 87 months and 108 months in federal prison
Federal prison
Federal prisons are run by national governments in countries where subdivisions of the country also operate prisons.In the United States federal prisons are operated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons. In Canada the Correctional Service of Canada operates federal prisons. Prison sentences in these...

, respectively, by United States District Judge Kenneth Hoyt on Monday, August 28, 2006. Nguyen’s lesser sentence is a result of the court’s consideration of his cooperation with the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

."

The levels of criminality of Air Marshals, and their effectiveness against crime and terror, have also been questioned. According to Congressman John J. Duncan, the air marshal program has led to only 4.2 arrests a year, at an average cost of $200 million per arrest. He argued that this represents a win of the perceived dangers of terror, supported by a profit center-type approach, over realistic spending priorities.

See also

  • List of United States federal law enforcement agencies
  • Federal Flight Deck Officer
  • Aircraft hijacking
    Aircraft hijacking
    Aircraft hijacking is the unlawful seizure of an aircraft by an individual or a group. In most cases, the pilot is forced to fly according to the orders of the hijackers. Occasionally, however, the hijackers have flown the aircraft themselves, such as the September 11 attacks of 2001...

  • Airport security
    Airport security
    Airport security refers to the techniques and methods used in protecting airports and aircraft from crime.Large numbers of people pass through airports. This presents potential targets for terrorism and other forms of crime due to the number of people located in a particular location...

  • Public transport security
    Public transport security
    Public transport security refers to measures taken by a mass transit system to keep its passengers and employees safe, to protect the carrier's equipment, and to make sure other violations do not occur...

  • DSS - Diplomatic Security Service, U.S. Department of State
    Diplomatic Security Service
    The U.S. Diplomatic Security Service is the federal law enforcement arm of the United States Department of State. The majority of its Special Agents are members of the Foreign Service and federal law enforcement agents at the same time, making them unique...

  • FBI
  • Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
  • Sky marshal
    Sky marshal
    A sky marshal is an undercover law enforcement or counter terrorist agent on board a commercial aircraft to counter aircraft hijackings...

  • Terrorism
    Terrorism
    Terrorism is the systematic use of terror, especially as a means of coercion. In the international community, however, terrorism has no universally agreed, legally binding, criminal law definition...

  • VIPR
    VIPR
    VIPR can refer to:*Volumetric Imaging and Processing of Integrated Radar*Virus Pathogen Database and Analysis Resource , a publicly available database and analysis resource for viral pathogens in the U.S...

    teams

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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