Customs Agent From Long Island Stole Cash From Passengers, Feds Say


A U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer from East Meadow was arrested Thursday for allegedly stealing at least $10,000 from passengers’ bags he searched at John F. Kennedy International Airport over the past year, federal prosecutors said.

Joseph Cialone, 39, was charged with the theft at Brooklyn federal court. Judge Vera Scanlon released him on $50,000 bond.

Cialone, who was was assigned to the Smuggling Interdiction Unit, told investigators “that he has stolen [$100] bills from passengers’ handbags on at least 100 occasions,” according to court documents.

One alleged victim was a passenger who arrived on a Jet Blue flight from Trinidad and Tobago and found $100 missing from her belongings after Cialone searched her on March 26, according to investigators. The next day, another passenger made a similar complaint, authorities said.

Cialone was allegedly caught in the act on video surveilance camera footage. He is believed to have stolen from 11 women between March 17 and April 16, prosecutors said. When questioned, the officer waived his Miranda rights and admitted to dozens more thefts over the past year, officials added.