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

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

NHL

Rangers' speed versus Flyers' size makes interesting playoff…

Among the myriad aspects that will make this Metropolitan Division semifinal series fascinating will be the battle between the Rangers' speed and the Flyers' size,…

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.