Shawn Nguyen bragged that he could sneak anything past airport security using his top-secret clearance as a federal air marshal. And for months, he smuggled cocaine and drug money onto flights across the country, boasting to an FBI informant that he was "the man with the golden badge."
Michael McGowan used his position as an air marshal to lure a young boy to his hotel room, where he showed him child porn, took pictures of him naked and sexually abused him.
And when Brian "Cooter" Phelps wanted his ex-wife to disappear, he called a fellow air marshal and tried to hire a hit man nicknamed "the Crucifixer."
Since 9/11, more than three dozen federal air marshals have been charged with crimes, and hundreds more have been accused of misconduct, an investigation by ProPublica, a non-profit journalism organization, has found. Cases range from drunken driving and domestic violence to aiding a human-trafficking ring and trying to smuggle explosives from Afghanistan.