TSA agents at airports across the United States encounter numerous prohibited items on a regular basis, but some finds are more extraordinary than others. In fact, one particularly spicy discovery made at Armstrong Airport in New Orleans last year was deemed significant enough to be included in the Transportation Security Administration’s list of the best catches of 2023.
Given the popularity of Louisiana cuisine, it is not uncommon for TSA agents to come across various spices in passengers’ carry-on bags. According to TSA spokesperson Dan Velez, “In New Orleans, it’s any kind of Cajun seasoning.” However, one agent made an abnormal discovery inside a container of pro boil.
The agent stumbled upon one pound of crystal meth cleverly concealed within the beloved Cajun seasoning. This hiding spot was described as “ingenious” by one traveler, who added, “Something that no one would expect.” Due to its popularity, it is unlikely that anyone would suspect such an item to be concealed there.
The incident has raised awareness among travelers, prompting them to be more vigilant. One visitor to New Orleans remarked, “It makes you think, hmm, is this concealing something else? I’ll have a more keen eye.” This discovery serves as a reminder that airports recover hundreds of thousands of items each year, many of which are unusual or unexpected.
TSA has compiled a list of their top ten best catches of 2023, with the hidden crystal meth found at New Orleans International Airport ranking at number seven. According to Velez, the purpose of publishing these lists annually is to highlight “items that are really, really unique and kind of weird.” The intention is to remind travelers that TSA is highly effective in detecting prohibited items and discourage them from attempting to bring such items through security checkpoints.
Other notable items on the list include an inert IED hidden in an energy drink can at Tulsa International Airport, marijuana found in a diaper at LaGuardia Airport, and a knife concealed inside a prosthetic leg at Anchorage Airport. These examples demonstrate the wide range of items that TSA agents encounter on a regular basis.
By sharing these finds, TSA aims to emphasize their commitment to maintaining the safety and security of air travel. Velez stated, “[We’re] letting people know that, don’t try to bring these types of items in this particular way, because we’re going to find them.” This message serves as a reminder to travelers to comply with security regulations and avoid attempting to smuggle prohibited items onto airplanes.
In conclusion, the discovery of crystal meth concealed within a container of Cajun seasoning at New Orleans International Airport highlights the vigilance and effectiveness of TSA agents. This finding, along with other remarkable discoveries, serves as a reminder to travelers of the importance of adhering to security regulations and the consequences of attempting to bring prohibited items on board aircraft.