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TIA security employee pulled over, then arrested

Published Sep. 3, 2005

After he was pulled over and accused of driving 80 mph in a 45 mph zone at Tampa International Airport, an airport security screener was arrested Thursday on multiple charges.

Robert Bivens III, 24, was charged with not having a valid driver's license, having an unregistered car and violating probation stemming from a 1997 felony grand theft arrest.

Bivens, of 2606 E Emma St., was fired by his employer, Universal Staffing Enterprises in Orlando, according to Clorse Dale, a manager in the corporate office. Dale would not say when Bivens was fired or why.

USE is an airport subcontractor that provides security for American Airlines. Dale said USE was not aware of Bivens' background. When he was hired, Hillsborough County handled employee background checks, Dale said.

Bivens could not be reached for comment Monday, and no one appeared to be at his home. Officials at Washington's Transportation Security Administration, which oversees airport security screening, could not be reached late Monday.

According to TIA public information officer Brenda Geoghagan, a Hillsborough Sheriff's deputy stopped Bivens at 3:56 a.m. on the George Bean Parkway inside the airport as Bivens was reporting to work. Airport police were called when deputies discovered Bivens had a suspended license, an unregistered car and was on felony probation, investigators said. Court records show Bivens pleaded guilty in 1999 to the grand theft charge, but the judge withheld adjudication and put him on probation. Details of the charge were not available late Monday.

Airport security screeners are responsible for finding weapons and other contraband passengers may try to bring on a plane. They screen carry-on bags and often search through luggage checked in by airlines.

Bivens has a history of traffic violations, including operating a car with improper tags earlier this year and driving with an open container in 2000, records show.

_ Tim Grant and be reached 269-5311 or at