Air Marshals Busted For Smuggling Viagra

Filed Under: Security/TSA

Nearly 20 years after 9/11 we still have federal air marshals in the US, even if the program is smaller than it used to be (there are now believed to be around 3,000 air marshals, and this program is costing taxpayers over $755 million in 2020).

The air marshal program doesn’t have much to show for its efforts, as we’ve seen more air marshals arrested than arrests performed by air marshals. We’ve seen air marshals leave guns in airport bathrooms and in airplane bathrooms, we’ve seen them pull guns on civilians in parking disputes, and we’ve seen them rearrange their flight schedules to accommodate trysts.

Well, the latest thing putting air marshals in the news is viagra.

20 air marshals smuggled viagra

The latest scandal to hit the federal air marshal program is being nicknamed “bonergate,” and it involves around 20 air marshals in the Dallas field office.

A secretive two year investigation has revealed that air marshals have been purchasing viagra abroad, where it’s often significantly cheaper than in the US, and then reselling it to colleagues in the US.

Air marshals can bypass typical security checks, which is why they could get away with importing prescription drugs without issue. Some air marshals apparently sold viagra to colleagues at cost, while others tried to make a profit.

It goes without saying that this is potentially illegal, as it constitutes the importation of prescribed medicine for distribution without a license. There’s also the risk of counterfeit viagra, not to mention that medicine from abroad may not meet FDA requirements or have been properly inspected.

How are air marshals being punished for this?

The roughly 10% of the Dallas field office found to have been involved in this is being punished in different ways:

  • Some air marshals are facing a three to 10 day suspension
  • At least two air marshals may be terminated from evidence uncovered during the investigation
  • Another air marshal resigned after he was suspended

Air marshals involved have been instructed not to speak about the situation, and have even had to sign an NDA. As an anonymous air marshal explained:

“Everybody involved had to sign an NDA. There was not a lot of real heavy-handed discipline. People took their lumps — it could have been worse — and went on with it.”

The union representing air marshals described this simply as an “error in judgment,” which sure is convenient:

“We have pride in our positions, and some people — whatever they did — I believe it was an error or error in judgment. Men can go to doctors and get a prescription. So why would they have to go and buy it and not know what they’re getting?”

Bottom line

An investigation has revealed that around 20 air marshals in Dallas have been smuggling viagra into the US from abroad in recent years. They then distributed it to colleagues, either at cost or at a profit.

I can only imagine what kind of a punishment regular citizens would face if they imported prescription drugs with the intent to distribute, while this is simply being referred to as “an error in judgment,” and punishments start at just a three day suspension.

Remind me why we spend over three-quarters of a billion dollars per year on this program?

(Tip of the hat to View from the Wing)

Comments
  1. 🙂 FUNNY TO READ THIS!
    … as a former airline employee, i know these people good and they are just HUMANS!
    …. but instead of calling it potentially illegal, i’d call it POTENCY NEEDED at some Air Marshalls life?? 😉

    Love this story!

    No wonder they do what they do, they had to stay awake (officially) on ALL longhaul flights, there layover was mostly FUN as well . . . . 😉

  2. Most viagara is generic or counterfeit. 1 100 mg Viagara pill costs $100. The generic silendafil can be bought for $2 a pill 25mg in Mexico and sold for $10 each in the US. That’s just what I hear. :))))

  3. Is this why Lucky was in Dallas? He said he would save the reasons for another post in the review of the AA HQ…

  4. Per my pharmacist, the generic is about one or less USD per pill with most insurances. Government employees have one of the best prescription insurance so it could be even less expensive bit correct me if you are a go employee. Why people need to get unverified unknown crap into themself for more money or the best-case scenario, for the same amount, is beyond me.

  5. I mean it’s interesting how many times you post an article about a flight on the plane and how many commenters say where was the Air Marshal. On a serious note…I do think it acts as a deterrent as does the TSA. Are they effective, probably not, are they necessary, IMO yes. Most terrorism is stopped with intelligence and dare I say drone strikes. But we can’t just have no TSA or Air Marshals. It also helps the public feel safe, which is important too. Bottom line, if a terrorist plan gets to the level where the Air Marshals or TSA are asked to prevent it we are in serious trouble.

    As far as this issue, a federal prosecutor needs to pursue this plain and simple.

  6. What I find it funny is that most Americans don’t realize that the same medicine from the same American brand / company usually cost less in other countries than in the US itself.

  7. Several issues…

    1. State law issues about prescribing medications without a license. This is serious. Viagra is just not orange juice or cookies.

    2. Abused trust. When a family member doesn’t declare stuff to customs, other family members can lose Global Entry.

    3. Importation of medicine for personal use is permitted without a license but not for other non family members.

    4. If you have erectile dysfunction, it may be due to blood vessel problems and it is probably common to have other health issues. The doc can write for Viagra. There’s even a pellet that melts in your dick.

  8. If the manufacturer of Viagara did not rip-off US customers this situation would not arise so they are equally culpable.

  9. @Lakesider At this point Viagra is just a brand. There is no protection for the underlying product. The company themselves is one of the biggest sellers of the generic option. So you could get the same same pill just not blue colored. Pfizer invest a lot to keep the viagra brand alive so ask a premium at the same time will also sell you a generic for much less.

  10. These marshals are some hardened and cocky criminals. There attempts at uprising led some to rigid downsizing.

  11. Be aware terrorists, Marshall limp D**ck is onboard. He is one hardened law man…..just give him 20 minutes.

  12. Yea I’d probably have difficulty performing in the bedroom too if my entire career consisted of sitting in an airplane seat staring at a cockpit door all day.

  13. The point is not how expensive Viagra is in the US. The point is these clowns were bringing this stuff in illegally and selling it. If someone was just bringing it back for personal use and they obtained it legally abroad then its a minor infraction. If someone is bringing back pills they bought off the street which contains god knows what and is reselling them then that is certainly a crime and should have been investigated by an outside agency. The fact that they all worked in an environment where they agreed to do this suggests a corrupt office and that management needs to be investigated as well.

  14. I hope the smuggling predates the drug coming off patent. Otherwise they were smuggling just because they were afraid to talk to their doctors. The generic has been available in the USA for a while and is maybe a buck a pill for 100 mg if you use electronic coupons. Or so a friend tells me! 😉

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