Airport screener charged in robbery

By Ed Brock

A Clayton County man who formerly was employed as a screener to keep terrorists from getting through the airport has been arrested and charged with robbing a business with a BB-gun.

Officials said additional robbery charges against him and a 17-year-old companion may be coming following an area robbery spree.

Gary Butler, 20, was fired from his job as a Transportation Safety Administration security screener in May, TSA spokeswoman Yolanda Clark said.

Clark did not give the reason for Butler's termination.

Butler and Joseph Olley, 17, were arrested at 10:29 a.m. Wednesday just four minutes after 911 dispatchers informed officers of a robbery at a beauty supplies store on Flint River Road in Jonesboro, Clayton County police Detective Hank Derbyshire said.

"An officer saw a vehicle fitting the suspects' and pulled them over," Derbyshire said.

The officer stopped the car in front of a house on States Court not far from where two armed men had held an employee of the store at gunpoint and took an undisclosed amount of money.

"Officers responded quickly and were able to apprehend them without further incident," Derbyshire said.

Even though the two were using a pellet gun that looked like a real gun they are still being charged with armed robbery, Derbyshire said. They are also being charged with possession of marijuana.

The two may have been involved in a similar incident earlier Wednesday in Riverdale, but Riverdale police spokeswoman Officer Debra Johnson said they are still investigating that connection. The Fayette County

Sheriff's Office also wouldn't comment on Butler and Olley's connection to a robbery of a convenience store in Fairburn that Derbyshire said may be connected to the two.

Fayetteville police do believe the two may have tried to rob a 25-year-old Hampton woman at an ATM on Ga. Highway 314 around 10:49 p.m. Tuesday, Maj. Steve Ledbetter said.

Two men approached the woman and pointed what appeared to be a gun at her.

"She left the items in the ATM and drove away, which is the right thing to do," Ledbetter said.

No money was taken from the woman's account.

Several Transportation Safety Administration uniforms and an expired TSA identification badge were also found in the car driven by the two. Butler's name was on the badge. TSA spokeswoman Clark did say that it is TSA's policy to require former employees to return their uniforms and they are notified of such in writing.

Clark said she did not know if possession of the uniforms is a criminal offense.