TSA officer spots fake ID, stops man convicted of manslaughter from getting on plane

Sunday, January 5, 2020
RIC Photo

A TSA officer at Virginia’s Richmond International Airport who questioned the identity of a traveler who tried to use a fake ID came face-to-face with a man convicted of manslaughter.

When the officer noticed a Virginia driver’s license that just didn’t look or feel right, her instincts kicked in. She questioned the passenger about the ID, and he was unable to give a reason why it looked different than usual.

The officer called for a higher ranking officer, and a supervisor and manager immediately responded. They requested assistance from airport police. TSA did not allow the man through the checkpoint.

Airport law enforcement officials learned from the FBI that the passenger, who refused to identify himself, was attempting to fly with a fake ID. They transported him to the Henrico County Police Department for processing and identification. Before the man could be identified, he was released by the local magistrate and given an unsecured bond. 

Investigators later determined the man was wanted in Jackson, Mississippi, where he was serving a 20-year prison sentence for manslaughter and had been mistakenly released from jail. 

The U.S. Marshal Service apprehended the man. He was charged with forgery and using a false ID. 

Airport police honored the TSA officer with a letter and coin before her co-workers for her integrity and commitment.

“The TSA officer used her training and diligence in identifying a person who was not who he claimed to be and turned out he was wanted by law enforcement nationally,” said Richmond TSA Federal Security Director Chuck Burke. “Our officer did exactly what she was supposed to do—questioned the validity of the ID and called for assistance. It turned out indeed it was a false ID because the man did not want his true identity known.”