No he lost his job over smuggling, the critical part of that article DID NOT DECLARE. Booze, cig or anything else you do not declare you are smuggling.
You can be criminally charged with anytime you smuggle. Airsoft makes it worse, but he made the choice. No sympathy here he is not 17 with a crummy job and teenaged brain cells, and basically figuring he has little to lose.
He is 51 and in a position of trust with a good job, he chose to break the law. Most likely to save money or make money, bad choice harsh consequence.