Denver International Airport screeners fired for allegedly groping male passengers

By Andrew V. Pestano

DENVER, April 16 (UPI) -- The investigation into an alleged groping scheme by two Transportation Security Administration agents has been reactivated after multiple victims have come forth to law enforcement officials.

On Wednesday, the TSA fired two Denver International Airport screeners for manipulating procedures that allowed an agent to grope the genitals of male passengers.


No charges have been filed due to lack of witnesses. Investigators will work to see if the alleged victims were groped. The TSA was alerted to the screener's actions in November 2014, but no action was taken by the agency, until an incident was observed by TSA security supervisor Chris Higgins on Feb. 9.

"We have had numerous victims calling in," Raquel Lopez, a technician with the Denver Police Department, said Wednesday.

Law enforcement reports say a male screener at the airport revealed to a female colleague in 2014 that he groped male passengers he found attractive by having another female TSA screener manipulate a scanning machine to require a pat-down search.

"He related that when a male he finds attractive comes to be screened by the scanning machine he will alert another TSA screener to indicate to the scanning computer that the party being screened is a female. When the screener does this, the scanning machine will indicate an anomaly in the genital area and this allows [the male TSA screener] to conduct a pat-down search of that area," TSA documents state.


Higgins told officers he observed the male screener signal his female coworker, and the woman hit the button for "female," when a male passenger passed through the screening machine.

"The scanner alerted to an anomaly, and Higgins observed [the male TSA screener] conduct a pat down of the passenger's front groin and buttocks area with the palm of his hands, which is contradictory to TSA searching policy," the documents read.

Ben Hooper contributed to this report.

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