Tag Archives: jfk airport

Queens residents accused of stealing money orders from mail at JFK Airport


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

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BY ASHA MAHADEVAN

Five Queens residents, including two baggage handlers at John F. Kennedy International Airport, are accused of participating in a scheme that involved stealing money orders from internationally-bound mail.

One of the baggage handlers, Kenroy C. Mitchell of St. Albans allegedly deposited 33 stolen money orders into his bank account between November 2013 and January 2014, according to District Attorney Richard Brown. The money orders had been sent via U.S. mail to Japan, Korea and Greece.

Amanda Mackie, 20, of Rosedale, is accused of acting in concert with one of the other suspects, but was employed by Ground Services International as a baggage handler, Brown said. She allegedly deposited a money order meant for Japan into her own bank account this January.

Mitchell was arraigned in Queens Criminal Court on Thursday, on charges of grand larceny criminal possession of stolen property. He is also charged with acting in concert with one of the other suspects and is accused of stealing more than $25,000, prosecutors said.

Mackie was arraigned Wednesday night and also charged with grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property. She is also charged with participating in a scheme to steal and criminally possessing $2,800 in U.S. Postal money orders.

Mitchell and Mackie were released on their own recognizance.

The three other individuals are still being sought, according to the district attorney’s office.

The suspects were identified and caught as the result of a joint investigation that the United States Postal Office and Port Authority Police Department carried out after receiving numerous complaints of money orders not reaching their intended destinations, Brown said. Specifically, the mail was allegedly being handled by Ground Services International and Swissport USA baggage handlers at JFK Airport.

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Guns, ammo, 33 pounds of pot found in woman’s luggage at JFK: officials


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of @TSAmedia_LisaF

A Canadian woman was busted at John F. Kennedy International Airport Sunday morning after TSA officers discovered guns, ammunition and 58 bricks of marijuana hidden among cat litter, drink mixes and household items inside her baggage, officials said.

The illegal loot was found in the passenger’s two pieces of checked luggage. The screeners noticed the suitcases were full of cans and boxes for baby wipes, coffee, floor dusting sheets, lemonade mix, iced tea mix, cat litter and laundry tablets, according to the TSA.

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Inside the product containers, they uncovered two disassembled .40 caliber handguns, 350 rounds of ammunition, four magazines for the weapons and 58 bricks of pot totaling 33 pounds.

Port Authority police were called, and the traveler, Nyesha McPherson, 24, of Scarborough, Ontario, who was ticketed to fly to the Barbados, was arrested at about 9 a.m., officials said.

McPherson has been charged with criminal possession of marijuana, criminal possession of weapon, criminal possession of a firearm, possession of high capacity magazines and possession of ammunition, according to a PA spokesman.

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Queens man nabbed at JFK for allegedly taking TSA agent’s handbag    


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

HANDCUFFS 1

A Queens man was arrested at John F. Kennedy International Airport for stealing a TSA agent’s handbag not long after he was busted at the airport for unlawful solicitation of ground transportation, according to the Port Authority.

Carlos Sanchez, 61, is accused of draping his jacket over the agent’s handbag and walking away with it at about 7:50 a.m. on Thursday in Terminal 5. He only made it a few steps before he was caught, PA spokesman Joseph Pentangelo said.

The handbag contained her credit cards and TSA equipment that is commonly used for K-9 training.

Sanchez was arrested by Port Authority police and charged with grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property, according to authorities.

Within the past two weeks, while working as a livery driver, Sanchez was arrested at JFK for unlawful solicitation of ground transportation, Pentangelo said. As a result of a violation of a condition of that arrest, he will also be charged with criminal trespass and trespass in Thursday’s incident.

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Man fixing flat tire on Van Wyck fatally hit


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

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Updated Monday, Sept. 15, 4:41 p.m. 

A man was struck and killed Sunday morning as he was changing a flat tire on the Van Wyck Expressway near the John F. Kennedy International Airport, officials said.

The 43-year-old victim, Felix Galarra, of Ozone Park, was fixing the flat just after 4 a.m. when a minivan hit the man and his vehicle, according to Port Authority of New York and New Jersey officials.

A passenger in the victim’s vehicle and three people who were in the minivan were taken to Jamaica Hospital with apparent non-life threatening injuries, a Port Authority spokesman said.

A section of the Van Wyck Expressway leading to the airport was reportedly shut down until just before 11 a.m. because of the accident.

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JFK duty free shops cashier busted for stealing more than $19K


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo

A 19-year-old Queens man was arrested for stealing more than $19,200 while he worked as a duty free shops cashier at John F. Kennedy International Airport, according to Port Authority police.

Tyrone Simmons, of Jamaica, in an interview with authorities, allegedly indicated his responsibility in the thefts, saying that he took money from the register on several different occasions. He is accused of stealing the cash from this May until the end of August.

Simmons was arrested at the airport by Port Authority police detectives Thursday and charged with grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property, officials said.

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Man arrested for trespassing at JFK Airport


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

jfk airport

Police busted a New Jersey man for trespassing after he was caught entering a restricted area of John F. Kennedy International Airport Wednesday morning, authorities said.

Port Authority employees saw William Deenem 22, of Perth Amboy, go inside a fenced area of the airport at about 9:30 a.m, cops said.

He was then placed under arrest by Port Authority police without incident. Deenem has been charged with criminal trespass.

There was no disruption in travel.

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$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


By Queens Courier Staff | 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


By Queens Courier Staff | 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


By Queens Courier Staff | 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


By Queens Courier Staff | 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


By Queens Courier Staff | 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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