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CBP Screening Passengers in Jetway on Domestic Flight

CBP Screening Passengers in Jetway on Domestic Flight

Old Sep 23, 19, 2:13 pm
  #1  
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CBP Screening Passengers in Jetway on Domestic Flight

I'm currently on a flight from DTW>LAX on Delta. Just like last time I took this same flight two months ago, there were plain clothes CBP agents in the jetway pulling random passengers over for questioning. Last time they pulled the guy in front of me (if they picked me I was gonna joke about finally getting my global entry interview) but this time I was picked and asked quite a few questions like I just came back in the country. Questions were:

1) Let me see your boarding pass
2) Why are you traveling to Los Angeles?
3) What was the purpose of your trip in Detroit?
4) Where in Detroit area did you stay while you were here?
5) How long have you been in Detroit for?
6) Do you have any narcotics/contraband including medical marijuana, vapes, dabs, edibles, shatter, etc etc (I swear he listed every kind of weed - maybe he knew I was rasta)
7) How much cash, financial instruments, yada yada do you have on your person?

It was a bit much for a domestic flight. Have never really seen this before, anyone know what is the deal? Also if I said, yeah I have a weed vape can they do something about it? I mean it is decriminalized in both states and at LAX I know cops don't care because there was a guy smoking a whole joint at the entrance of the terminal when I left for this trip. Dude wasn't even in the designated smoking section!

Thx
RP
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Old Sep 23, 19, 2:51 pm
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I've been stopped in the jetway a few times on flights departing DTW, and it's the only place it's ever happened. The person wasn't uniformed and identified as some security contractor or other. They never asked any drug questions, though, and I think both times were before recreational weed was approved in either state. I don't think they ever showed an actual federal ID- it's annoying enough (since you lose overhead space) that next time I'm going to ask to see a PIV-II card.
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Old Sep 23, 19, 2:56 pm
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Originally Posted by chrisl137 View Post
I've been stopped in the jetway a few times on flights departing DTW, and it's the only place it's ever happened. The person wasn't uniformed and identified as some security contractor or other. They never asked any drug questions, though, and I think both times were before recreational weed was approved in either state. I don't think they ever showed an actual federal ID- it's annoying enough (since you lose overhead space) that next time I'm going to ask to see a PIV-II card.
Although they were plain clothes some had CBP badges around their neck and he also flipped me his badge when he pulled me aside. I actually recognized him as the same agent I saw the first time. And yes, about 10 people got ahead of me in the boarding line during my interrogation.
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Old Sep 23, 19, 4:20 pm
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Originally Posted by RastaPasta View Post
I'm currently on a flight from DTW>LAX on Delta. Just like last time I took this same flight two months ago, there were plain clothes CBP agents in the jetway pulling random passengers over for questioning. Last time they pulled the guy in front of me (if they picked me I was gonna joke about finally getting my global entry interview) but this time I was picked and asked quite a few questions like I just came back in the country. Questions were:

1) Let me see your boarding pass
2) Why are you traveling to Los Angeles?
3) What was the purpose of your trip in Detroit?
4) Where in Detroit area did you stay while you were here?
5) How long have you been in Detroit for?
6) Do you have any narcotics/contraband including medical marijuana, vapes, dabs, edibles, shatter, etc etc (I swear he listed every kind of weed - maybe he knew I was rasta)
7) How much cash, financial instruments, yada yada do you have on your person?

It was a bit much for a domestic flight. Have never really seen this before, anyone know what is the deal? Also if I said, yeah I have a weed vape can they do something about it? I mean it is decriminalized in both states and at LAX I know cops don't care because there was a guy smoking a whole joint at the entrance of the terminal when I left for this trip. Dude wasn't even in the designated smoking section!

Thx
RP
Marijuana is illegal in the U.S. under federal law. An encounter with a federal LEO such as CBP could result in a a change to your travel plans.
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Old Sep 23, 19, 5:53 pm
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This was DFW not LAX. And, if by cops you mean local law enforcement, perhaps they don't. But, CBP is a federal law enforcement agency and the possession of marijuana remains a crime. They may well not bother to arrest you, but that doesn't mean it is something not to think about.
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Old Sep 23, 19, 6:30 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
This was DFW not LAX. And, if by cops you mean local law enforcement, perhaps they don't. But, CBP is a federal law enforcement agency and the possession of marijuana remains a crime. They may well not bother to arrest you, but that doesn't mean it is something not to think about.
It was actually DTW. I would think this is more common at LAX or DFW though. I understand it is still illegal Federally. What I don't understand is CBP jurisdiction in doing random screenings on the jetway of a domestic flight.
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Old Sep 23, 19, 6:34 pm
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I've seen CBP search for unreported cash over $10,000 in DTW jetways for international DL flights. They find it with some frequency. There are also dogs that can detect large amounts of cash.
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Old Sep 23, 19, 9:14 pm
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Hmm. They're not allowed to ask for identification on domestic flights. I wonder if asking questions is also a 4th Amendment violation:
https://www.aclu.org/blog/national-s...less-id-checks
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Old Sep 23, 19, 9:27 pm
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Originally Posted by Mats View Post
Hmm. They're not allowed to ask for identification on domestic flights. I wonder if asking questions is also a 4th Amendment violation:
https://www.aclu.org/blog/national-s...less-id-checks
At an internal checkpoint (i.e. not at the border) CBP can ask whatever questions they want. However, you are NOT required to answer. The issue is that most people do not know their rights and CBP (or any police) will not inform you of your rights unless you are being arrested. That said it does not sound like the CBP followed the protocol agreed upon.
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Old Sep 23, 19, 9:34 pm
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Originally Posted by RastaPasta View Post
It was actually DTW. I would think this is more common at LAX or DFW though. I understand it is still illegal Federally. What I don't understand is CBP jurisdiction in doing random screenings on the jetway of a domestic flight.
I know it's Monday morning quarterbacking, but, how did you answer their invasive questions? It's easy for me to say that I would have declined to answer. But, in this post-9/11 country of ours, I have thought about questions such as these and have already decided upon answers. My Irish temper says that the answers would have included something like "up yours". Ultimately, I simply won't be intimidated by anyone wearing a badge and gun pulling this sort of fertilizer. My freedom and yours are simply too important.

Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
I've seen CBP search for unreported cash over $10,000 in DTW jetways for international DL flights. They find it with some frequency. There are also dogs that can detect large amounts of cash.
Doing this stuff is fair game for international flights. But, for domestic flights, they can shove you know what up you know where.
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Last edited by TWA884; Sep 24, 19 at 8:10 am Reason: Merge consecutive posts by the same member; please use the multi-quote function. Thank you.
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Old Sep 23, 19, 9:42 pm
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I have decided to do what some of the guys at the inland checkpoints in Arizona and elsewhere at the 50-mile mark north of the Mexican border do:

"Am I being detained?"
"Then I"m free to go?"
"Am I being detained?"
"Then I'm free to go?.

If you repeat that sequence long enough they will let you pass, since they cannot detain you.

But as stated, most people willingly give up their rights at the drop of a hat.
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Old Sep 23, 19, 9:56 pm
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I wouldn’t answer most of these questions.

But in the current political environment, if you’re less than ivory-white many federal LEOs would just as soon shoot you as talk to you. And there seem to be plenty of news stories about citizens or LPRs getting stuck in immigration holds or deported.
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Old Sep 23, 19, 10:22 pm
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Originally Posted by RastaPasta View Post
Also if I said, yeah I have a weed vape can they do something about it?
You can be arrested, detained and charged for drug possession (not trafficking because of the amount).

Just because certain states passed certain laws, it does not mean cannabis is legal. Cannabis is still a Schedule I drug under the CSA, and thus illegal in the U.S.

Don't forget - you are crossing state lines. Hence, interstate commerce.
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Old Sep 24, 19, 1:56 am
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
I've seen CBP search for unreported cash over $10,000 in DTW jetways for international DL flights. They find it with some frequency. There are also dogs that can detect large amounts of cash.
If it's deplaning, how could anyone have declared it at that point?
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Old Sep 24, 19, 2:15 am
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SirJman, MSPeconomist is probably talking about the international departure gates -- for passengers leaving the US on international DL flights. If someone arriving to the US is flagged for currency smuggling concerns and gets a CBP screening on the jetway and selected for a search, the flagged person gets an escort to a search at DTW and MSP that isn't viewable by the public in the way it is for international DL flights leaving the US from DTW and MSP. CBP screening at time of enplaning.

Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
I've seen CBP search for unreported cash over $10,000 in DTW jetways for international DL flights. They find it with some frequency. There are also dogs that can detect large amounts of cash.
I have seen these CBP gate-area searches for many of my European-bound flights flying DL out of MSP and out of DTW and for other airlines flights out of ORD over many years. For these CBP gate-area searches in the Midwest/Great Lakes states, the CBP engages in a lot of racist profiling in deciding who to question more extensively and thereafter pull over for searches, that is unless the CBP happen to be looking for a particular individual or group of identified individuals who have been blacklisted prior to even showing up at the gate. I've never seen anyone from my flights be caught with $10,000 or more at MSP or DTW or even JFK -- even when the CBP has the names of the persons they have already flagged for currency export concerns. And I'm a person who will hang out at and wander the airports to check out particular international departures and watch what is going on in the name of security even on my personal time.

Last edited by GUWonder; Sep 24, 19 at 2:24 am
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