Three former airport workers were busted using their insider knowledge to snag $6 million in Prada, Gucci and Chanel shipments from JFK Airport, prosecutors said Thursday.
Two ex-airport truckers, an ex-Delta employee and three others were indicted for their involvement in swiping and then reselling luxury bags, jewelry, sunglasses and shoes from the airport earlier this year, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said at a press conference.
During the first heist on Jan. 31, former airport trucker David Lacarriere, 33, allegedly presented a forged but accurate bill for Prada bags, clothes and accessories that had been shipped to the plane hub. And with the help of another ex-airport trucker, Gary McArthur, 43, they were allegedly able to haul away four pallets of the products in a tractor-trailer truck, Katz said.
It wasn’t until hours later that “the true truckers and the true recipients of the cargo showed up. Clearly that tipped off the airport to the fact that the people who claimed to have been the true recipients hours before were not, in fact, them and we started the investigation,” Katz said.
The two men, aided by two others, were able to earn roughly $804,000 from the first operation, prosecutors allege.
The second heist May 16 and 17 was even bigger haul. The same crew — along with ex-Delta worker Davon Davis, 32 — made off with five air-freight pallets holding thousands of Chanel and Gucci goods valued at over $4.4 million, officials allege.
The goods from the second haul were sold out of shuttered salon Candi World Beauty Bar in Jamaica, Queens, prosecutors say.
On June 3, cops intervened at the stash house as Lacarriere and McArthur were selling 117 items — comprised mostly of Chanel handbags worth $300,000 — to a middle man for another defendant, Alan Vu, officials allege.
At the beauty salon, police found 3,000 Gucci items and 1,000 Prada items, including bags, clothes and other merchandise worth $2.5 million, the DA said.
Katz alleges the men were selling the items for half of their retail prices.
“We relentlessly pursued the suspects, who allegedly used forged documents and their insider knowledge as former airport workers to steal air cargo,” Katz said.
“Of course our airports must be safe and secure for travelers, but they also must be trusted by international companies transporting cargo to our region — especially during a pandemic when our city needs PPE, test kits, medical supplies and equipment.”
The six defendants are variously charged with grand larceny, conspiracy, criminal possession of stolen property and other crimes.
Lacarriere, McArthur and Davis were arraigned in Queens Supreme Court Wednesday. Lacarriere faces up to 12 1/2 to 25 years in prison if convicted, while McArthur and Davis face up to 8 1/3 to 25 years.
Lacarriere was held without bail while bail was set at $100,000 for McArthur and Davis.
Vu is in custody in New Jersey awaiting transfer to Queens. Two more defendants are still at large.
Lawyers for Lacarriere, McArthur and Davis did not immediately return requests for comment.
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