TSA Releases Top 10 Weirdest Items Seized by Agents in 2022

TSA Releases Top 10 Weirdest Items Seized by Agents in 2022

Guns, drugs, raw chicken and cattle prods all make the list of the TSA's top ten catches of 2022.

We may earn a commission from links on this page.
Image for article titled TSA Releases Top 10 Weirdest Items Seized by Agents in 2022
Image: TSA

It’s the actual most wonderful time of the year: The holidays are over, the days are getting longer and the Transportation Security Administration is taking a break from fondling our dead loved ones to release a list of the strangest things seized last year.

No, I’m not talking about guns silly! Although the TSA found lots of guns this year—a new record of more than 6,300 total, the majority of which were loaded. Anything to get out of checking a bag and properly transporting a firearm, am I right?

And that’s not to say there are no guns on this year’s count down. Unlike previous years’ lists—which usually include things like gas masks, baseball bats, knives, drugs and fireworks—guns and gun-adjacent items show up a little more frequently on this year’s list. But even with all of the guns this year, you will still get some unique combinations of words that you won’t see anywhere else—terms like “money crutches,” “chicken gun,” “cattle prod guitar” and “drug scrunchie,” which are sure to fire up the imagination.

Advertisement

2 / 12

10. Soiled Money Crutches—El Paso International Airport

10. Soiled Money Crutches—El Paso International Airport

Image for article titled TSA Releases Top 10 Weirdest Items Seized by Agents in 2022
Image: TSA

Unfortunately, two of the most enigmatic entries on this list have the least detailed explanations. The video released by the TSA suggested the crutches were stinky, but no word on how, or how much money was smuggled in the crutches or from whence the stank came (I’m guessing underarms and time.)

Advertisement

3 / 12

9. Inert Grenade—General Mitchell International Airport

9. Inert Grenade—General Mitchell International Airport

Image for article titled TSA Releases Top 10 Weirdest Items Seized by Agents in 2022
Image: TSA

It’s always a good sign when the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s bomb squad has to be called to the security check line. This incident happened back in July, when a passenger attempted to get through security at the General Mitchell International Airport with a hand grenade. Luckily, the weapon was inoperable.

The owner of the grenade told agents he’d acquired it during his trip and had no idea he couldn’t bring something that looks for all intents and purposes like a real live explosive on the plane. He got a citation, as well as the sight of several TSA agents slapping their foreheads in disbelieve over his stupidity. Much like the fake suicide bomb vest from 2016, even if a grenade is fake or inoperable the TSA still counts those objects as weapons.

Advertisement

4 / 12

8. Cattle Prod—Dulles International Airport

8. Cattle Prod—Dulles International Airport

Image for article titled TSA Releases Top 10 Weirdest Items Seized by Agents in 2022
Image: TSA

Well if this ain’t the beginning of a beautiful country western theme BDSM/jam session combo. The cattle prods were caught by agents at Dulles International near Washington D.C. on September 14. The passenger was allowed to repack the prods into checked luggage, rather than bring the sparky boys on the plane with them.

Advertisement

5 / 12

7. Gun in a PlayStation—Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

7. Gun in a PlayStation—Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

Image for article titled TSA Releases Top 10 Weirdest Items Seized by Agents in 2022
Image: TSA

I promised you guns and here’s the first (but not the last) one. This gun was found inside of a Playstation. This traveler going through Atlanta on his way home to California “artfully concealed” gun parts inside of the old gaming console. From the TSA’s release on the incident

A PlayStation X-ray image didn’t look right to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) Lead TSA Officer Theodosia White, who was working the overnight shift.

“I didn’t see a mass in the game system,” said White. “I just noticed that (it) looked odd.”

White wanted a better look at the item, so she repositioned the carry-on bag on the X-ray belt to give her a clearer look at the bag’s contents.

“I reran the bag because I saw what looked like a gun, but I wasn’t sure,” said White. “It looked odd - like it was missing pieces or there were components missing. No circuitry was missing (in the game). The fan was there, but a gun looked to be artfully concealed.”

After the second look, White communicated her suspicions to Supervisory TSA Officer Brenda Nelson who confirmed the image.

The gun was confiscated by law enforcement, but it seems this sneaky Pete was able to go free since the gun was not operable.

Advertisement

6 / 12

6. Drug Scrunchies—Boise Airport

6. Drug Scrunchies—Boise Airport

Image for article titled TSA Releases Top 10 Weirdest Items Seized by Agents in 2022
Image: TSA

Ah Drug Scrunchie. Not only a killer name for a Grateful Dead cover band, this entry has the least known about it. I can’t find any reports or press releases about how or when drugs were transported via ‘90s hair accoutrement but it intrigues me.

Advertisement

7 / 12

5. Knife Inside Gaming Laptop—Richmond International Airport

5. Knife Inside Gaming Laptop—Richmond International Airport

Image for article titled TSA Releases Top 10 Weirdest Items Seized by Agents in 2022
Image: TSA

TSA Agents are people too. They laugh, they love, and some of them game. Even if they don’t, most of them know a double-edged knife is not needed inside of a gaming laptop. Though the statement from the TSA kinda sound like they’re paying this perp a compliment:

“This was a superb job on the part of our officers to first identify the threat and then work in partnership with the Capital Region Airport Commission Police to obtain tools that were necessary to disassemble the laptop to reveal the knife,” said Robin “Chuck” Burke, TSA’s Federal Security Director for the airport. “Detecting artfully concealed weapons points to the training and skill of our officers who are focused on their mission to ensure that prohibited items that could cause harm are not carried onto flights. The traveler now faces a stiff federal financial civil penalty.”

No matter how good you think your concealment game is, please don’t try and bring knives on to the plane.

Advertisement

8 / 12

4. Gun in Arm Sling—Frederick Douglass Greater Rochester International Airport

4. Gun in Arm Sling—Frederick Douglass Greater Rochester International Airport

Image for article titled TSA Releases Top 10 Weirdest Items Seized by Agents in 2022
Image: TSA

This is what I mean when I say that this year’s list is a little less wacky than years’ past. In fact, this gun in an arm sling is pretty damn terrifying. On September 27, a traveler was heading through security at the Frederick Douglas Greater Rochester International Airport in New York when TSA agents spotted the weapon, fully loaded and a mere inches from the man’s hand. Police arrested the man, who claims he “forgot” the weapon was on him.

To make your next trip as stress-free as possible, remember TSA Agents are not law enforcement, do not carry firearms, are the lowest paid federal workers and are instructed to run like hell should anyone in the security line start shooting.

Advertisement

9 / 12

3. Hand guns in peanut butter—New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport

3. Hand guns in peanut butter—New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport

Image for article titled TSA Releases Top 10 Weirdest Items Seized by Agents in 2022
Image: TSA

Hey! I got illicit firearms in my peanut butter! Or is it peanut butter in the illicit firearms? Either way, guns and air travel are two great tastes that do not go great together.

This late entry to 2022's Top Ten list occurred during the holiday travel rush. The semi-automatic hand gun was at least disassembled which is just one of the many, many steps passengers need to go through before transporting firearms on a plane. Port Authority stepped in and confiscated the weapons, and arrested the Rhode Island man making this nutty attempt to sneak them on to the plane.

Along with the scrunchies and skittles wrapper, it seems the new trend is folks are smuggling drugs inside my favorite things from 6th Grade.

Advertisement

10 / 12

2. Gun Inside of Chicken - Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport

2. Gun Inside of Chicken - Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport

Image for article titled TSA Releases Top 10 Weirdest Items Seized by Agents in 2022
Image: TSA

On September 27, agents found a hand gun and an unloaded magazine wrapped in plastic and jammed inside of a Quirch-brand full size chicken. People are weird.

The passenger was on their way from Fort Lauderdale to Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, making this cluck-up a matter for the always cheerful Customs and Border Protection officers.

Ignoring the gun for a second, how pissed would you be if you could smell raw chicken coming from someone’s carry-on? I get mad when someone is wrapping up their fast food lunch on a plane, I can’t imaging a whole raw dripping bird. That’s a two hour flight of that thing sitting at your feet or over head at room temperatures. This is not only dangerous and illegal, it is inconsiderate. And really, isn’t that the biggest crime on an airplane? (No. Not by a long shot)

Advertisement

11 / 12

1. Fentanyl Pills Hidden in Candy Wrappers - Los Angeles International Airport

1. Fentanyl Pills Hidden in Candy Wrappers - Los Angeles International Airport

Gloved hands hold open a Woppers wrapper filled with small blue pills of fentanyl.
Image: TSA

Last year, we had the meth burrito, this year, some enterprising traveler found a way to make what comes in candy wrappers even more addictive. On October 19, just in time for Halloween, someone attempted to sneak in the powerful synthetic opiate Fentanyl through security in Sweetarts, Skittles, and Whoppers wrappers, according to NPR. The suspect fled, but his identity is known to law enforcement.

In an early contender for understatement of 2023, Fentanyl is seriously bad news. An incredible 110, 236 Americans died due to Fentanyl overdose in the U.S. during a 12-month period, according to the CDC. TSA spokesperson told NPR that this manner of sneaking in drugs has unfortunately become common among traffickers.

Advertisement

12 / 12