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Drug smuggling ring busted at San Francisco International Airport
Drug trafficking is a global threat that has taken the entire world by storm. Even in America, most of the states are reeling under a serious problem of drug abuse and addiction, despite U.S. administration’s consistent efforts to take a more comprehensive approach toward the rampant drug problem in the country. In the state of California, drug traffickers have designated several hotspots for the distribution of a wide range of drugs and other illicit substances.
In December 2016, the police arrested three former Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents at the San Francisco International Airport for their alleged involvement in a conspiracy to transport illegal drugs. The accused, identified as Joseph Scott, 53, Michael Castaneda, 32, and Jessica Scott, 27, were also charged with misusing their functionary powers as security screeners.
According to the investigating undercover agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), “the three accused misused their positions as Transportation Security Officers to allow passengers to smuggle real and simulated cocaine through airport security checkpoints.”
The three accused have been charged with two separate offenses, such as conspiracy to deceive the TSA by preventing a lawful government function and conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine. The first offense carries a maximum prison time of five years besides a maximum penalty amount of $250,000, whereas, the second offense carries a mandatory minimum prison time of ten years, a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, including a maximum penalty amount of $10 million.
Drug menace in San Francisco Bay Area
Flanked by the Union Square shopping district to the northeast and the Civic Center office district to the southwest, lies one of the most notorious neighborhoods of the bay area – “Tenderloin “, in downtown San Francisco, infamous for the open-air drug market. For most San Franciscans, stepping over used needles, watching addicts shooting up in the public and witnessing street drug dealers muttering their wares to passersby is a routine affair.
Besides, the infamous Tenderloin area borders the city’s commercial center, where start-up and tech workers head to work each day, increasing the threat of many white-collar workers to be engulfed by the world of addiction. Numerous roadside drug sellers clandestinely scan the crowds to identify their genuine clientele in order to avoid patrolling cops.
A short stroll around the intersection of Haight-Ashbury can lead to a variety of mind-altering psychedelics, ranging from psilocybin (“shrooms “) to the mind-bending Dimethyltryptamine (DMT). Surprisingly, at a mere few paces away from the Tenderloin police station, one can shop for crack, heroin, PCP, and even bath salts under a single roof.
Undoubtedly, illicit substances represent an overwhelmingly huge market in the city, with an estimated value of over $400 million.
Battling the menace of addiction
If you or your loved one is battling addiction to any other substance, seek treatment immediately. The San Francisco Drug Treatment Rehab Center can help you get the best addiction treatment programs. You may chat online or call at our 24/7 helpline number 415-366-6922 for more information on different treatment options in your vicinity.