18 workers, most employed by airline catering company LSG Sky Chefs, were arrested Wednesday for stealing more than 100,000 mini-bottles of liquor from the catering company at John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK) and reselling them on the underground market.
“The defendants arrested in Operation Last Call violated and sold out their position of trust and access to the secure areas of the airport, including access to commercial aviation, all for personal greed,” said Robert Van Etten, inspector general for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates JFK Airport.
Prosecutors allege that 15 employees of LSG pilfered bottles of alcohol left over from various American Airlines flights and sold them on the underground market to local liquor stores and bodegas. Taking place over many months, these thefts yielded an estimated retail value of $750,000.
Law enforcement sources said the ring revolved around Domingo Duran, a retired LSG Sky Chefs employee.
An early morning raid on Duran’s home in Queens uncovered more than 50,000 mini-bottles of alcohol and $34,000 in cash. Duran faces 15 years in prison on charges of grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property.
3 of the 18 arrested were security guards, 2 of which were employed to guard JFK facilities.
Each of the accused could face prison terms of 7 – 15 years if convicted.
Image: Flickr [flyheatherfly]