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California

TSA agent tricked traveler into baring herself at LAX, officials say

LAX
A federal Transportation Security Administration agent tricked a traveler into twice showing him her breasts as she went through security at Los Angeles International Airport, California’s attorney said.
(Paul Morse / Los Angeles Times)

A federal Transportation Security Administration agent tricked a traveler into twice showing him her breasts as she went through security at Los Angeles International Airport, California’s attorney said.

Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra said Johnathon Lomeli, 22, was working at LAX in June when he used fraud or deceit to falsely imprison the woman. Lomeli was arrested early Thursday at his home.

He first said he had to look inside her bra to make sure she wasn’t hiding anything, then had her hold her pants away from her waist so he could look inside, she told investigators.

He subsequently took her to what he said would be a private room for more security screening, according to an arrest affidavit. But once they were alone on an elevator, she said he told her he could do the screening right there.

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The woman said Lomeli told her he had to make sure she still had nothing in her bra, requiring her to lift her shirt “to show me your full breasts.” He also again looked down her pants, she said, before telling her she was free to go and adding that she had nice breasts.

He was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail and was expected to make an initial appearance Friday in Los Angeles County Superior Court. Officials with the union representing TSA employees, the American Federation of Government Employees, did not respond to requests for comment, and officials could not say if Lomeli has an attorney.

“There is no excuse for this kind of alleged behavior,” Becerra said in a statement.

The TSA initially brought the case to the FBI and Lomeli was let go from his airport job months ago, said FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller.

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She said the initial complaint involved “improperly screening at least one woman in a private area of the airport.”

The TSA in a statement called the alleged behavior “unacceptable and an affront to the hard-working and committed members of our workforce.”


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