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TSA employee busted for trying to smuggle illegal gun through JFK Airport checkpoint

A TSA agent walks through JFK airport in New York City. (Spencer Platt/TNS)

A uniformed Transportation Security Administration worker at JFK Airport was busted for trying to sneak a loaded handgun through a security checkpoint, authorities said Tuesday.

Renee Riley surrendered to Port Authority police officers at JFK on Monday morning.

Riley, 26, was beginning her shift at Terminal 4 at 11:55 a.m. Thursday when a screener working the X-ray baggage scanner spotted a defaced Smith & Wesson .40-caliber gun in her purse along with a “clip that is larger than it would normally appear,” according to court papers.

The tan bag was immediately put into a “high threat box area” on a carry-on luggage conveyor belt, but Riley ran behind the checkpoint counter, grabbed her purse and ran off before police could be alerted, authorities said.

A handful of TSA employees tried to stop her, but she barreled past them as she ran out of the terminal, cops said. A short time later, she was caught on airport surveillance cameras ditching the weapon near the terminal’s departures ramp.

The gun, along with a full clip with 14 rounds of ammunition was found by Port Authority police, prosecutors said.

PAPD charged Riley with possession of a defaced weapon, criminal use of a firearm, disposing of a firearm, obstructing government administration and tampering with physical evidence.

A Queens Criminal Court judge ordered her held on $10,000 cash bail. Her attorney, Mitchell Elman, had no immediate comment.

It’s not immediately clear if Riley is a screener or had another position with the federal agency.

An email to the TSA for comment was not immediately returned.


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