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  • Detained by TSA For $4700: What Say You
    Posted by Christopher Fotos 4:40 PM on Apr 03, 2009

    Mark Ashley at Upgrade: Travel Better has a Fox News video that I also embed below; it's an interview with one Steve Bierfeldt, who was detained at St. Louis Lambert when TSA screeners questioned why he was carrying $4,700 in cash. The audio recording of the questioning starts around the two-minute mark.

    Ashley writes:


    It’s not a crime to carry cash…. The TSA is supposed to be about travel safety and security. Why would they care about cash? Think about it: A guy carrying $4700 is not going to blow up a plane — if he’s got that much money with him, he wants to make it safely!



    Fox News is not everybody's cup of tea, but the recording is shall we say educational. Comments and questions lobbed at Bierfeldt include Are you from this planet, you are acting like a child, and my favorite, if you have nothing to hide. All of this after he repeatedly (and remarkably politely) asked whether he was required by law to tell them how he acquired the cash or what he does for a living. Near the end of the tape, he says "I don't understand the law," and one of the screeners says, "we're gonna make you understand." Nice.

    The threat they kept hanging over his head was to take him to a police station for more questioning--until, evidently, a plainclothes officer identifying himself as an FBI agent whispered in somebody's ear and they let him go.

    I don't buy all of the comments made by the Fox panel, which includes Judge Napolitano and John Stossel, and I know that large amounts of cash raise some alarm bells--but enough for this? I'm not sure this is how it's supposed to work.

    Oh, and Bierfeldt is with the Campaign for Liberty and was returning from a fundraiser. 


    Tags: tw99, security, TSA

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