18 JFK airport workers charged in mini liquor bottle theft ring worth $750K

Some of the 100,000 mini bottles of liquor lifted in the theft ring.

These airline workers allegedly helped themselves to the beverage cart — and then some.

In a massive investigation dubbed “Operation Last Call,” 18 workers at John F. Kennedy International Airport were arrested today for their roles in a theft ring that netted $750,000 worth of mini liquor bottles, the Queens district attorney said.

It’s the largest theft bust at the airport in more than ten years, according to the Queens DA.

FJC Security Services Inc., a security company that monitors the perimeter and checkpoints at JFK, told Metro they learned in 2011 that a security guard they employed was committing serious violations.

Instead of firing the guard, authorities asked her to wear a wire. She become a secret informant in an investigation that led to the discovery of a large-scale thieving operation. A ring of 18 people who worked at the airport, including security guards and truck drivers, stole more than 100,000 mini bottles of liquor, and duty-free liquor, perfume, and cartons of cigarettes out of planes and storage facilities at the airport.

The workers are accused of then selling the pilfered merchandise.

Queens District Attorney Richard Brown, joined by Port Authority of NY and NJ Inspector General Robert E. Van Etten at a press conference Wednesday, stressed that the theft ring eluded to a serious security concern at the airport.

“Perhaps more troubling is that airport security personnel entrusted with guarding against theft and maintaining security at the airport were allegedly involved in the scheme,” Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. “If a terrorist wanted to breach airport security, the alleged actions of these defendants gave then a back-door opportunity to do so.”

Among the 18 people busted in the ring were three security guards and fifteen present and former truck drivers employed by Sky Chef, the food and beverage subsidiary for American Airlines.

Investigators said Sky Chef employees would remove unsold mini bottles of booze off planes’ beverage carts. They would then bribe security guards with liquor to allow them to pass checkpoints with the loot.

According to officials, the defendants would then sell the mini bottles of liquor for between 55 cents and $1.25 to people outside the airport.

The 18 defendants are facing charges including bribe receiving, receiving a reward for official misconduct, grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.