When you're getting involved in illicit activity, you need airtight plans. Usually, those plans involve staying away from high-security areas, but one bold team of Los Angeles International Airport TSA screeners knew a golden opportunity when they saw one, and decided to start a trafficking ring. They would accept generous payments from smugglers to allow their drug mules to pass through airport security carrying pounds of product. After all, LAX is a trash palace in a garbage kingdom -- who's going to notice a bunch of people walking around with a shitload of drugs?
US Attorney's Office
Oh, right. Them.
One such mule was a guy named Duane Eleby, and he managed to ruin the whole thing for everyone in less time than it takes to buy a macchiato from the Starbucks in LAX. Eleby was carrying ten pounds of cocaine -- the equivalent of a large baby -- hidden in his luggage, and was supposed to meet one of his TSA hookups, Joy White, at Terminal 6. According to the plan, she would allow him through terminal security before spiriting him away through a secret tunnel leading to Terminal 5, where Eleby's plane would be set to depart. This is a seemingly idiot-proof set of instructions, but Duane Eleby proved to be somehow worse than an idiot and went directly to his departure terminal.
Granted, Eleby did what any normal human being would do and went to the terminal that was listed on his ticket, but it's as if he suddenly forgot he was smuggling a mountain of cocaine through an international airport and was really looking forward to his trip. Eleby was met by an actual, non-crooked TSA screener, who presumably reacted with a rich cocktail of professional alarm and hilarious disbelief when they saw that Eleby was casually holding all of the drugs in the universe in his luggage. Predictably, Eleby and his stash were reported to the authorities, who arrested the shit out of him.
Tim Bray / Wiki Commons
Duane Eleby is like all of us -- desperate to get the fuck out of the airport, no matter the consequences.