Philadelphia Male Sent To Federal Prison For Evading TSA

by Alex Lloyd Gross

Hugh James, 52 of Philadelphia learned an expensive lesson. He will spend six months in federal custody and he had to forfeit a small fortune just because he tried to circumvent TSA agents at Philadelphia International Airport.

The incident dates back to October 8 2020 when James was going to fly out of Philadelphia to Montego Bay, Jamaica . When asked if he had any large amounts of cash he said no. Agents searched his carry-on bags and found $62,000 in cash. $42,000 of it was hidden in sealed toothpaste boxes. That money was in $100.00 bills.


Subsequent investigation revealed that James, an employee with access to the secure area of the airport, arranged to have the cash smuggled around Transportation Security Administration screening. On November 16, 2023, James pleaded guilty to one count of evading airport security and one count of failure to declare currency.

He was sentenced to ix months’ imprisonment, two years’ supervised release, a fine of $1,000, and a mandatory special assessment of $200 for attempting to board an international flight with undeclared currency that had not passed through airport security. United States District Judge Paul S. Diamond also ordered James to forfeit the sum of $62,000, US Attorney Jacqueline Romero said.