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

FDNY debuts new fire simulator for blazes at…

The New York City Fire Department christened its newest, state-of-the-art, custom-built simulator at its training academy on Randall's Island Tuesday.

Local

Bronx cop saves baby who stopped breathing

A Bronx police officer is credited with saving the life of a 2-month-old baby who stopped breathing Tuesday morning. Police Officer Johnny Castillo, 38, was…

Local

Brewer celebrates Women's Equality Day with voter pledge

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer celebrated Women’s Equality Day Tuesday by pledging to register at least five women voters before the Oct. 10 deadline. Brewer…

Local

NYPD looking for lewd D train rider

The NYPD is enlisting the public’s help to find a man they say performed a lewd act on the D train Saturday evening. The incident…

Television

'Pretty Little Liars' recap: Season 5, Episode 12,…

If you've wondered whether Ali and Bethany knew each other, you got an answer tonight: Yes, and in a very tangled way. But many lingering…

Entertainment

Cymbals Eat Guitars Have Everything to 'LOSE'

At its most basic level, a rock band can be thought of as a family, a group of people selflessly devoted to a cause. When…

Entertainment

"Bachelor in Paradise" recap: Episode 4, 'Week Four'

Some things are hard to watch in a “Human Centipede” sort of way. Other things in an “American History X” sort of way. Does “Bachelor…

Movies

Fall Movie Preview: 10 films to see this…

Despite being awards season, the next four months bring a glut of remakes, rehashes and sequels. Here are 10 that should be better worth your time.

College

When are 2014 college football playoffs? (Schedule, date,…

When and where are 2014 college football playoffs? A look at the schedule, date, TV, time for the semi-finals at championship game.

NFL

Dimitri Patterson suspended only for rest of preseason…

Dimitri Patterson ended up getting just a slap on the wrist.

Sports

Eugenie Bouchard excited for 'rowdy' fans at US…

Eugenie Bouchard is sure to endear herself to New York's tennis faithful as she tries to win her first grand slam title across the next two weeks.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Angels and A's still at…

MLB Power Rankings: Angels and A's still at top, Nationals climb

Wellbeing

Who is having the most orgasms?

  Single lesbians report having orgasms more often than heterosexual women but both gay and straight men still come out on top of the climax…

Home

Jonathan Adler shares his tips for a great…

Jonathan Adler took a break from boogie boarding at his beach house to tell us how to keep that Labor Day party festive.

Travel

Most popular Labor Day weekend destinations

Priceline.com released its Top 20 destinations for the end of summer, including Labor Day weekend. If you’re heading to any of these spots, expect a…

Wellbeing

Working your way to type 2 diabetes: Job…

When it comes to type 2 diabetes, a stressful job can be as risky for your health as a bad diet and no exercise. A…