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
National

US military tried, but failed to rescue journalist…

The U.S. military earlier this year tried to rescue journalist James Foley and other American hostages held in Syria ,but failed to find the captives.

National

Fate of captured beluga whales in hands of…

A Georgia aquarium went to court on Wednesday seeking federal permission to bring 18 captured beluga whales to the United States from Russia.

Local

After Eric Garner death, religious leaders meet to…

Interfaith leaders convened with city officials to discuss what the community can do to help dial down heightened tensions after Eric Garner's death.

Local

'Suspicious' Hamilton Heights fire caused by power strip:…

An extension cord overload caused the deadly fire in Hamilton Heights late Monday that killed a 15-year-old girl and injured at least 12 others.

Television

'Doctor Who' personality profile: the 4 Doctors

When the time comes for a new Doctor, there's always some anxiety over the big question: Who will he be? The series owes its longevity…

Television

Billy Crystal to commemorate late actor Robin Williams…

  Comedian Billy Crystal will pay tribute to late actor Robin Williams at television's Primetime Emmy Awards on Aug. 25, the show's organizers said on…

Going Out

Things to do this week in NYC, Aug.…

GAMES Hudson Common Open Aug. 21, 7 p.m. Hudson Common 356 W. 58 St. Free, www.hudsoncommonnyc.com The U.S. Open begins on Monday, but most of…

Movies

Review: Sadly, Matthew Weiner's 'Are You Here' is…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner tries his hand at movies with "Are You Here," a misjudged Owen Wilson-Zach Galifianakis comedy that turns into a drama.

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL defense (DEF)

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL quarterbacks (QB)

MLB

Shane Greene travels unlikely road to Yankees stardom

Shane Greene was throwing a bullpen session on a quiet field at Daytona Beach Community College one day when the ball started moving.

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL tight ends (TE)

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Wellbeing

Metabolic syndrome could have a sugar link

Scientists in St. Louis may have found another culprit in metabolic syndrome, which can lead to heart disease and type 2 diabetes.  Uric acid is…

Wellbeing

Another way stress hurts your unborn baby

Mothers know to try staying calm during pregnancy, as stress has been linked to behavioral and developmental problems for their babies. But now, a new…