Tag Archives: John F. Kennedy International Airport

City seeking developer for seven-acre plot near JFK


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo via NYCEDC JFK North RFEI

A seven-acre vacant piece of land near John F. Kennedy Airport could be the future home of a new office or industrial complex as the city Economic Development Corporation (EDC) is seeking investors interested in the site.

The city agency released a request for expressions of interest (RFEI), first spotted by the Commercial Observer, for developers looking to purchase or lease the land and then redevelop the site, which is located in Springfield Gardens.

The land is bounded to the north by Rockaway Boulevard, to the south by the Nassau Expressway and to the west the Federal Aviation Administration office building.

Although the city has been recently releasing information for many Queens sites for more housing opportunities, such as Sunnyside Yards or vacant plots in Jamaica, to meet Mayor Bill de Blasio’s affordable housing goals, the EDC isn’t hiding the fact that this particular site should be for commercial or industrial uses.

“The project offers a unique opportunity to develop a commercial and/or industrial building on a very large vacant parcel adjacent to the airport,” the NYCEDC said. “Given the site’s [seven-acre] size, respondents have the opportunity to create a modern campus plan with industrial and/or commercial programming that supports job-intensive uses and attracts both established and growing businesses.”

As a residential community, Springfield Gardens, where planes fly over residents’ heads non-stop, has suffered from airplane noise. The area even had the borough’s worst housing selling rate in 2014.

But being so close to the major international gateway, Springfield Gardens contains one of the air cargo industry’s largest concentrations of custom brokers, freight forwarders, and numerous other airport-related industrial facilities, according to the RFEI, meaning the possible new complex could continue to expand the booming industry already in place.

Developers have until May 4 to send proposals for the site.

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Port Authority director, BP Melinda Katz, industry leaders to headline first QNS Real Estate Conference


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Real Estate Conference logo edit

Pat Foye, the executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, will be the keynote speaker at the first QNS Real Estate Conference on Feb. 26.

As head of the bi-state agency that oversees the borough’s airports, LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy, Foye is positioned to speak about the major transformation coming to the airports, including the proposed LaGuardia AirTrain, which Governor Andrew Cuomo recently announced.

Foye, who was deputy secretary for economic development for Cuomo, headlines speakers from key firms in the real estate industry who will attend the networking event, which Star Network and The Queens Courier are hosting in association with the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY). Real estate website PropertyShark, Flushing Bank, Mattone Group and Meridian Capital Group are sponsoring the symposium.

“This event is a great opportunity for the public to learn about the latest trends and investment information in Queens from the top people in our industry,” said Jamie McShane, REBNY senior vice president for communications. “Queens is becoming increasingly important as we have seen projects from Astoria Cove to Hallets Point, and projects at Queens Plaza South and the LIC waterfront, as well as Willets Point. And the members of the REBNY are very involved with a growing number of exciting projects in Queens, our largest borough and the most ethnically diverse county in America.”

Borough President Melinda Katz, who branded Queens the “World’s Borough,” will deliver the opening remarks at the event, which will take place at Terrace on the Park at Flushing Meadows Corona Park and begin at 8 a.m.

Following Katz’s opening comments and Foye’s keynote speech, members of the real estate industry from top firms will break into three panel discussions.

The panels will focus on different themes of the real estate industry in the borough, such as why big investments are being made in Queens, experiences in the borough from real estate companies, and expert perspectives on developments in Ridgewood and nearby Bushwick.

“The Queens market has huge opportunity and this event will shed light on the power of the Queens real estate market,” said Josh Schneps, co-publisher of The Queens Courier. “Our goal is to inform people and network. This event is a perfect platform to do so for the industry. We hope people interested in the Queens market will attend and hopefully make investments in the borough.”

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Seven JFK baggage handlers busted for stealing from passengers’ luggage


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo

Seven baggage handlers working at John F. Kennedy International Airport are accused of stealing more than $20,000 worth of electronics and jewelry from checked luggage and trying to sell the items, according to the Queens district attorney’s office.

The airport workers are facing charges of grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property, according to the district attorney’s office.

They allegedly took the items, which included iPads, smartphones, tablets, laptops, and a pair of two-carat diamond and gold earrings, between March 2012 and June 2014.

Most of the baggage handlers sold the items to a pawn shop or a “fence,” who was actually an uncover police officer, District Attorney Richard Brown said. They would steal the items from the suitcases of both national and international passengers, and set up meetings on or near airport grounds in order to sell the goods.

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Sunnyside man caught with stun guns, machete in luggage: PA


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Port Authority

A Sunnyside man allegedly on his way to a movie shoot in Dubai was busted with an array of weapons in his luggage at John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Jalil Dewan, 57, was due to depart from the airport the day before Thanksgiving when TSA agents discovered the contraband in his checked baggage, according to the Port Authority.

An inspection found that the bags contained two stun guns, pellet guns, starter pistols, four boxes of pellets and a machete.

JFKarrestPAPD

Jalil Dewan

Dewan admitted the bags belonged to him and indicated he was flying to a film shoot in Dubai Wednesday morning, authorities said.

Port Authority police confiscated the items and Dewan was arrested. He was charged with criminal possession of a weapon for the stun guns and received a desk appearance ticket.

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JFK passenger busted with $87K of cocaine


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of U.S. Customs and Border Protection

An arriving passenger at John F. Kennedy International Airport tried to bring back more than souvenirs in her suitcase.

The passenger’s luggage had just come off a flight from Port of Spain, Trinidad on Sunday when a K-9 Fenja sniffed out something suspicious inside of it, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

Jerrita Baker, a United States citizen, claimed the bag and a search was conducted.

CBP officers found a white powder inside the suitcase, which tested positive for cocaine.

In total, five pounds, with an approximate street value $87,000, was seized, and Baker now faces federal narcotics smuggling charges, CBP said.

 

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Queens man arrested for stealing two Jetway motors at JFK


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Port Authority Police Department

Cambria Heights man working at John F. Kennedy International Airport allegedly stole two Jetway motors with the intention of selling them for scrap metal.

On Thursday at the airport’s Terminal 7, witnesses saw 30-year-old James Hicks-Johnson, who works for a de-icing company, place two Jetway motors into his company’s vehicle and then drive off, according to authorities.

Hicks-Johnson did not have any authorization to remove the engines, which were valued at $7,000 each and belonged to British Airways, according to Port Authority Police. When he returned to the terminal he was placed under arrest by Port Authority police officers.

When questioned Hicks-Johnson made statements suggesting that he intended to sell the property for scrap metal, authorities said.

He was charged with grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property.

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


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

MailPileHC1408_X_300_C_R

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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Cuomo, Biden announce design competition for LaGuardia and JFK


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Gov. Cuomo's Flickr

LaGuardia Airport is receiving some love from Vice President Joe Biden and Gov. Andrew Cuomo, two prominent figures who both harshly criticized the gateway this year.

Biden and Cuomo held a press conference Monday at Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology across from LaGuardia to announce the modernization of the borough’s airports, including launching a redesign competition for both LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy International airports.

Cuomo also introduced plans to improve Stewart International Airport and Republic Airport in Long Island. Biden supported Cuomo’s ideas, saying improving infrastructure will generate money and increase jobs.

“What you just saw from Gov. Cuomo is that he understands the importance of the overall vision to redesign, to reimagine these four airports,” Biden said. “It’s unacceptable LaGuardia has the worst passenger service in the world. As I said not because of its workers, but because it doesn’t have a structure.”

Earlier this year, Biden criticized LaGuardia, infamously calling it similar to a “third world country.

Cuomo, who previously said the airport was ranked the worst airport in the country, reiterated Biden’s “third world country” quote at the event, adding, “He was right, by the way.”

In his State of the State address this year, Cuomo said the airports were in need of care and proposed the state assume responsibility of the $3.6 billion makeover for LaGuardia’s main terminal.

Also, advocacy group Global Gateway Alliance released renderings in March, showcasing its vision for LaGuardia’s main terminal.

Renderings courtesy of Global Gateway Alliance

Renderings courtesy of Global Gateway Alliance

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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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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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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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Port Authority bids farewell to K-9 partner


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Images Courtesy of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

The Port Authority Police Department (PAPD) said goodbye to one of its best friends, a German shepherd named Phoenix, who helped protect the city’s travelers for over seven years.

Phoenix, a member of the PAPD K-9 Unit, Explosives Detection, recently passed away after fighting a long battle with cancer.

The bomb-sniffing dog was assigned to the unit in 2007 at 2 years old and since then loyally served alongside PAPD Officer Donald Golding.

“Phoenix never wavered in his dedication to duty,” Port Authority spokesman Joe Pentangelo said. “He was a good will ambassador and a crime fighter, and he will be missed.”

For over seven years, Phoenix, who lived with Golding, started the day at John F. Kennedy International Airport and from there was deployed to various locations throughout the city.

Together with Golding, Phoenix had searched thousands of unattended bags and packages as part of the PAPD’s mission to protect travelers at its airports, seaports, terminals and PATH system, Pentangelo said.

Phoenix was also featured in the PAPD’s 2014 wall calendar and appeared on one of the Port Authority’s public awareness posters.

When he wasn’t taking a bite out of crime, the German shepherd also took part in the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s community outreach, where children were able to enjoy his “playful nature,” Pentangelo said.

 

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