116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — A Georgia man, who was convicted of assaulting a Transportation Security Administration officer and interfering with her job duties after drugs and nearly $38,000 in cash were found in his bags, was sentenced last week to two months in prison.
Andre Burns, 38, of Atlanta, Ga., pleaded guilty in February to one count of interference with airport security. According to the plea, Burns was flying out of The Eastern Iowa Airport on June 16, 2019, and his bag was tagged as a “suspicious package” as it went through a security checkpoint. He was directed to a secondary security location and officers inspected his luggage and found an envelope with nearly $38,000 cash and 35 grams of marijuana.
Burns then grabbed some of the cash, ran through the exit lane of the screening area, and punched TSA officer Yolanda Mendoza in the stomach when she tried to detain him, according to state and federal court documents.
Burns ran out of the airport and into a cornfield across the street. Officers from the Cedar Rapids Police Department found him after a short chase and arrested him in the cornfield.
The X-ray and security screening area had to be shut down as a result of Burns’ assault on the officer, according to court documents.
Mendoza resumed working but stopped after 15 to 20 minutes because she didn’t feel well and went to the hospital. She had a contusion of her abdominal wall.
U.S. District Court Judge C.J. Williams during sentencing also fined Burns $2,000 and ordered him to serve three years of supervised release following his prison term.
Burns was released on the bond previously set and will be allowed to surrender to the Bureau of Prisons on a date to be determined.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Tony Morfitt and investigated by the FBI, Cedar Rapids Police Department and the Transportation Security Administration.
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