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Being a Security Officer is Not for the Squeamish

Terminal Madness

From left to right in the photos: Christopher Hendericks, Dennis Madaris and Sharnette Everson.

Transportation security officers (TSOs) Christopher Hendericks and Dennis Madaris made a startling discovery while routinely searching a passenger’s checked packages arriving at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport – some 30 dead snakes, a dead bird and pieces of several other birds.

With assistance from Security Manager Sharnette Everson, the TSOs found the snakes packed inside several jars and bottles.

"I have found snakes before but what surprised me about this was how many there were," Hendericks said.

Everson praised how Hendericks and Madaris handled the discovery. "They knew right away to call attention to what they found," she said.

Photos of the snakes

"You can find animals, animal parts, anything on flights that arrive from overseas, so we have been trained on what to look for and how to safely handle what we find," Madaris said.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was alerted because the reptiles are protected by the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species. The passenger, who arrived on a flight from Seoul, Korea, faces a fine for violating the convention.

The bird parts and snakes were transferred to the Fish and Wildlife Service.