Tag Archives: jfk airport

$210K in fake cash seized at JFK cargo facility


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of U.S. Customs and Border Protection


A picture is worth $210,000 in counterfeit bills.

A recent search at a John F. Kennedy International Airport cargo facility uncovered thousands in counterfeit money after U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers found the fake cash hidden in a shipment within several laminated photos and colorful cases, according to the CBP.

On July 15, the officers were examining an express consignment shipment manifested as “Handycrafts Pictures” containing 20 laminated pictures and three electronic protective cases. During their search, they discovered what appeared to be counterfeit money within the pictures and cases, officials said. In total, 1,252 counterfeit U.S. $100 bills were seized.

The following day, CBP officers examined an express consignment shipment manifested as “Handycraft Bags” that contained one electronic case and three organizer bags, and uncovered 853 counterfeit U.S. $100 bills, according to the CBP.

Over those two days, a total of 2,105 counterfeit bills, or $210,500, were found, and turned over to the U. S. Secret Service. There have been no arrests and the investigation is ongoing, officials said.

 

 

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JFK’s Terminal 4 opens new upscale retailers as part of expansion project


| editorial@queenscourier.com

JANAE HUNTER

Seven new upscale retail stores have opened up for business at John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport’s Terminal 4.

World-renowned retailers Michael Kors, Travelex, Thomas Pink, Hugo Boss, Victoria’s Secret, Coach, Inc. and Swarovski are now available for travelers wishing to shop at the airport.

“As the premier international terminal at New York’s JFK Airport, we are thrilled to offer this mix of world-renowned brands to our airlines and their passengers,” said Gert-Jan de Graaff, president and CEO of JFKIAT, LLC, the company that operates Terminal 4.  “We are happy to provide retailers who are willing to offer the best names and products in the world right here at JFK’s Terminal 4.”

The stores are a part of an expansion of the terminal, which serves 30 domestic and international airlines and has a passenger volume of more than 60,000 people per day.

The expansion, which is currently underway, is making room for Delta Airlines at JFK Airport, has increased Terminal 4′s size by more than one third, and included additions such as new in-line baggage system and a centralized security checkpoint, along with the new retail stores, to enhance customer experience and benefit the airline’s partners.

 

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JFK passenger busted for trying to smuggle more than $82K of cocaine in luggage handle rails


| editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers

SALVATORE LICATA

A man was caught “white-handed” at John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport for trying to smuggle nearly five pounds of cocaine in the handle rails of his luggage, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers (CBP) said.

On June 5, Warren Hawk, a U.S. citizen traveling from Guyana back to New York, was stopped at border inspection when CBP officials noticed the handles on his luggage were unusually large, according to officials. He was escorted to a private search room where officers opened one of the handles revealing a white powdery substance that tested positive for cocaine.

In total there was about 4.82 pounds of cocaine seized from the handles of Hawk’s luggage, with a street value of more than $82,000., CBP said. Hawk was placed under arrest at the scene and is now facing federal narcotics smuggling charges.

 

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Comedian will not be prosecuted for elbowing woman at JFK


| editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Port Authority Police

A comedian who was arrested Tuesday for elbowing a woman at John F. Kennedy International Airport will reportedly not be prosecuted.

Kevin Meaney, 58, whose work includes appearances on Saturday Night Live and the Late Show with David Letterman and a starring role in the early 1990s CBS sitcom “Uncle Buck,” was at the airport’s Terminal 1 about 6:30 p.m. when the incident occurred, officials said.

Port Authority police initially said Meaney came up to a 29-year-old woman while she was walking and elbowed her in the chest for “no apparent” reason, then was arrested on an assault charge.

The woman reported experiencing chest pain, but refused medical attention, officials said.

But, according to Reuters, after reviewing video footage of the incident, prosecutors determined that the two just bumped into each other, and the Queens District Attorney said he will not be prosecuted for the assault.

Tuesday’s incident was the second time Meaney, who also appeared in the movie “Big,” and was in Broadway’s Hairspray, was arrested at an airport. In 2002, he was arrested at San Francisco International Airport when he tried to grab a National Guardsman’s M-16 rifle after he was told to stop filming security operations with his video camera, according to SFGate.com.

 

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Comedian arrested for elbowing woman at JFK Airport


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Port Authority Police


The joke’s on him.

A  New York City stand-up comedian and actor was arrested at John F. Kennedy International Airport for elbowing a woman Tuesday “for no apparent reason,” Port Authority Police said.

Kevin Meaney, 58, whose work includes appearances on Saturday Night Live and the Late Show with David Letterman and a starring role in the early 1990s CBS sitcom “Uncle Buck,” was at the airport’s Terminal 1 about 6:30 p.m. when the incident occurred.

Meaney allegedly came up to a 29-year-old woman while she was walking and elbowed her in the chest.

Police said Meaney jabbed the woman “for no apparent reason,” and witnesses confirmed the victim’s claim.

The woman reported experiencing chest pain, but refused medical attention.

Meaney was arrested without incident and charged with assault, according to Port Authority Police.

The comedian also appeared in the movie “Big,” and was in Broadway’s Hairspray.

Tuesday’s incident was the second time Meaney was arrested at an airport. In 2002, he was arrested at San Francisco International Airport when he tried to grab a National Guardsman’s M-16 rifle after he was told to stop filming security operations with his video camera, according to SFGate.com.

 

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Rep. King discuses homeland security over JFK Airport Chamber of Commerce breakfast


| editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photo by Salvatore Licata

SALVATORE LICATA

While JFK may be the “safest airport” in the country, far too many people do not take homeland security seriously enough, U.S. Rep. Peter King told an airport civic group on Wednesday.

King, speaking at a JFK Airport Chamber of Commerce breakfast, said airport workers, including Transportation Security Administration and Port Authority of New York and New Jersey personnel, have been successful in hardening the facility against terrorist attacks.

“This is the safest airport in the United States because of these people,” King said.

But, he added, many people are lax on the issue of security.

“Too many people in the U.S. do not take homeland security seriously enough,” said the 11-year congressman. “It is important that we stay aware.

“New York is the number one target [for terrorists].”

King was introduced by Tom Kelliher, president of the Chamber, as “the leader in the ongoing effort of homeland security,” an important topic to one of the nation’s busiest airports.

Raised in Sunnyside, King is the former chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee and now chairs a subcommittee on counter-terrorism.

He is outspoken on terror and security issues.

“The reality is [some] people in this country have foreign ideology,” he said. “Al-Qaida is adaptive.”

Though the hot topic was the nation’s security, King also discussed the issue of federal funding for Superstorm Sandy victims in New York.

“We had to fight tooth and nail for funding,” he said.

He noted that there had been conflict with insurance companies but the issues have been resolved and the money is now coming through to homeowners and businesses.

“Overall,” he said, “the job is being done and districts are coming back.”

 

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JFK passenger accused of smuggling $300K of cocaine in powdered custard


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of U.S. Customs and Border Protection

A man flying into John F. Kennedy (JFK) Airport was caught allegedly trying to smuggle nearly 18 pounds of cocaine into the country by hiding it in powered custard.

Godfrey Cassius had just arrived on a flight from Guyana on April 22 when he was busted with the drugs, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said.

During an inspection of his baggage CBP officers discovered eight packages of “Champion” custard powder within the luggage, officials said.

Upon examining the packets, officers found a white powder, which had a strong chemical odor. The powder tested positive for cocaine, which had a total weight of 17.9 pounds and approximate street value $300,000, the CBP said.

Godfrey Cassius was arrested for the importation of a controlled substance and faces federal narcotics smuggling charges, according to officials.

 

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AirTrain to temporaily shut down starting Tuesday night


| editorial@queenscourier.com

File photo

All AirTrain JFK service will be suspended system-wide, from 9 p.m. Tuesday until 3 p.m. Wednesday, according to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

During the shut down, free bus service will be provided at the following locations:

  • Jamaica Station to Federal Circle Station
  • Federal Circle Station to all airline terminals
  • Federal Circle Station to Lefferts Blvd Station
  • Long-Term Parking Lot 9 to the terminal area
  • In the terminal area

The Port Authority is advising riders to allow for extra travel time during the suspension. The schedule is subject to change and dependent on weather conditions. For updates, click here.

 

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Pennsylvania man busted at JFK with loaded gun, metal knuckles


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of TSA

A Pennsylvania man is facing some serious prison time after he was caught at John F. Kennedy International Airport trying to board a plane with a loaded handgun and a martial arts weapon.

Richard Forti, 55 of Annville, in Central Pennsylvania, was passing through security on his way to Los Angeles Wednesday morning when he was busted with the weapons, according to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and District Attorney Richard Brown.

As he passed through airport security, Forti removed his vest and placed it in a bin to go on the conveyor belt to be x-rayed. It was at that point that a TSA officer saw the .32 caliber gun, which was loaded with five rounds, in the pocket of the vest, the TSA said. Forti also allegedly had a cat eye-knuckles martial arts weapon with him that showed up on the TSA x-ray machine.

Port Authority police then confiscated the weapons and arrested Forti, the TSA said.

At the time of his arrest, Forti allegedly told police “The vest is mine and I put the gun in there for protection.  Those are my knuckles.  I put them in my vest,” according to Brown.

“It is beyond comprehension why intelligent people would think that it is okay to board an airplane with a loaded gun on their person,” Brown said.

Forti is currently awaiting arraignment in Queens Criminal Court on numerous charges of criminal possession of a weapon, prosecutors said.  If convicted, he faces up to 25 years in prison.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST 

Thursday: Mostly sunny. High 51. Winds ENE at 10 to 20 mph. Thursday night: Mainly clear. Low 36. Winds ENE at 10 to 15 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Happy Hour with QNSMADE & SingleCut Beersmiths

Come hang out at SingleCut Beersmiths in Astoria and try some locally made Queens craft beer. QNSMADE’s mission is to give a voice to the people that make up this borough and provide a space to bring together all the amazing things that are happening in the many pockets of Queens. With seven days left to go on its Kickstarter,  let’s come together and make this happen. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Police arrest man accused of making anti-Muslim statements toward teen on Queens bus

A man wanted for making anti-Muslim statements toward a 15-year-old girl aboard a Queens bus while spiting at the teen and threatening to punch her has been arrested, cops said. Read more: The Queens Courier

Bratton issues new guidelines for jaywalking stops 

Less than four months after officers started cracking down on jaywalkers in New York City, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton is telling officers to use more discretion when stopping people who cross the street illegally, according to law enforcement sources. Read more: NBC New York

EXCLUSIVE: City Controller Scott Stringer launching audit of Build it Back Hurricane Sandy home re-building program

The City’s troubled Build it Back program, which has only served a handful of Hurricane Sandy victims since the 2012 natural disaster struck, is going under the microscope. Read more: New York Daily News

Plane evacuated at JFK Airport after bomb threat: officials

A plane was evacuated at John F. Kennedy International Airport Wednesday evening after a bomb threat was made, officials say. Read more: NBC New York

Contract talks heat up between transit workers, MTA

Transit workers came closer to making a deal with the MTA Tuesday more than two years after their labor contract expired, union sources told The Post. Read more: New York Post

Heroin found in JFK passenger’s underwear


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of U. S. Customs and Border Protection

A man flying into John F. Kennedy International Airport earlier this month got his panties in a bunch when he was caught with heroin in his underwear, according to U. S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials.

The alleged smuggler, Bernard Charles, was caught after arriving at the airport on a flight from Trinidad on April 1, CBP said.

During a baggage examination, he allegedly “exhibited numerous signs of nervousness.” He was then taken to private room where CBP officers conducted a physical search of Charles and found two clear packages in his groin area, officials said.

The packages allegedly contained a brown paste-like substance that tested positive for heroin. In total, 1.79 pounds of the drug were seized, with an approximate street value of more than $70,000, according to CBP.

Charles, a Trinidad and Tobago citizen, was arrested and now faces federal narcotics smuggling charges.

 

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Man caught at JFK with cocaine concealed inside frozen meat


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of U. S. Customs and Border Protection

An arriving passenger faced some beefed-up security when he allegedly tried to smuggle cocaine through John F. Kennedy International Airport last month.

Yudishtir Maharaj has just come off a flight from Port of Spain, Trinidad on March 20, when U. S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers stopped him for a baggage inspection, CBP said.

During the search, they found three large packages of meat in his luggage, according to officials. They allegedly discovered white powder inside the meat, which tested positive for cocaine. In total, officers seized 7.35 pounds of the drug, the CBP said.

Maharaj faces federal narcotics smuggling charges and will be prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the U.S. Eastern District Court of New York, according to CBP.

 

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Police arrest livery driver at JFK for forgery


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Port Authority Police

A livery cab driver was busted at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) with a suspended license and charged with forgery, according to Port Authority Police.

Narinjan Singh, 40 of Michigan, was allegedly sitting inside a Lincoln Town Car bearing livery plates in a no parking zone at the airport about 3 p.m. Wednesday when police asked for his driver’s license. After showing officers his license, they discovered it was suspended, a Port Authority police spokesman said.

An investigation found that Singh’s license for operating a livery cab had been forged, according to the spokesperson.

Singh was arrested and charged with forgery, criminal possession of a forged instrument, aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and unlicensed operator, police said.

 

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Gov. announces measures to address Queens plane noise


| mchan@queenscourier.com

File photo

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey will double its sound monitors and create an office to address soaring noise complaints, under a string of new orders announced by Governor Andrew Cuomo Monday.

“Airport noise is rightly an important concern for residents of Queens, the Bronx and Nassau County,” Cuomo said. “We will listen to local residents and ensure their input is used to make both JFK and LaGuardia airports better neighbors.”

Gripes have been pouring in since the Federal Aviation Administration approved a new flight pattern in 2012 that brought on a barrage of low-flying planes over parts of northeast Queens.

“There have been days I felt so hopeless,” said Susan Carroll, of Flushing. “I get the takeoff. I get the landing. Flushing never gets a break from the airplane noise. We never get any peace.”

Carroll said she lodges so many complaints with the Port Authority’s hotline — at least one a day, since last summer — operators mistake her for an aviation expert.

“I actually cried tears of joy when I heard the news,” she said. “This is tremendous for all of us.”

Within the next few months, the Port Authority will implement a series of new measures that include monitoring flight tracks online, establishing regular roundtables with elected and federal officials, and conducting extensive noise studies.

More portable noise monitors will be placed in communities currently without one, the governor said. And the new noise office’s seven-member staff will collect and review data while responding to community complaints.

“We are committed to working with all communities we operate in to address their concerns, while bringing JFK and LaGuardia airports into the 21st century and maintaining the viability of our airports as major economic engines for the metropolitan region,” Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye said.

 

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JFK seizure nets more than $100K in fake cash


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of U.S. Customs and Border Protection

A man returning from South America was busted at John F. Kennedy International Airport with more than $100,000 in counterfeit cash after authorities discovered numerous bills hidden inside a diary box.

Marlon Williams Rodriguez Ezeta, 21, arrived at the airport on Feb. 21 on a flight from Lima, Peru when U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized the fake money.

During an examination of Rodriguez Ezeta’s luggage, an officer removed a cardboard diary box, sliced it open and found what appeared to be counterfeit U.S. $100 bills, CBP officials said.

A further investigation revealed a total of $121,300 in counterfeit U.S. bills concealed in the diary box, two wallets, one fabric box, and two cloth shoe racks.

Rodriguez Ezeta was arrested and the fake money was seized, according to CBP. The evidence was turned over to the Secret Service.

 

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