JFK Airport Workers Arrested for Stealing 100,000 Tiny Bottles of Booze

That's almost 4,000 grownup-sized bottles of booze.

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Pop quiz: What’s the best thing about air travel? A) The little bags of pretzels. B) Those adorably compact bottles of liquor. C) Hangin’ out with the ever-amiable folks of the TSA. D) The possibility that you’ll fall in love with your seatmate.

Obviously, the only acceptable answer here is B. And a gaggle of workers at New York’s Kennedy International Airport seem to agree. In fact, they love the little bottles so much that they allegedly stole more than 100,000 of them.

On Wednesday, 18 workers were arrested for stealing the miniatures from LSG Sky Chefs, the company that provides food and beverages for American Airlines, CNN reports. The majority of those accused were LSG employees, but three were airport security guards. The arrests culminate a nine-month investigation known as “Operation Last Call” carried out by the Port Authority’s Office of Inspector General.

(PHOTOS: What Booze Looks like Under a Microscope)

Here’s how the whole scheme went down. At the end of every American Airlines flight, workers are supposed to return any unused bottles to a storage facility. Instead, workers began stashing the bottles to sell them to local liquor stores and bodegas. But how did they repeatedly smuggle the stolen goods out of the airport? That’s where the aforementioned security guards came in — they reportedly accepted bribes to overlook the thefts.

Over the course of several months, these pilfered bottles yielded an estimated value of $750,000, CNN reports. At the center of the plot is retired LSG Sky Chefs employee Domingo Duran, who now faces 15 years in prison for grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property. Law enforcement officials raided his Queens home this week, finding more than 50,000 of the 1- to 2-ounce bottles and $34,000 in cash.

Fourteen of Duran’s fellow defendants are current or former truck drivers who were responsible for loading and unloading cargo from incoming flights. All of the 18 total employees accused face between seven and 15 years in prison.

NewsFeed apologizes if your perception of these cute miniature booze vessels has been sullied upon learning of this sordid saga. It’s okay to continue loving them, and it’s okay to hold them in your hand and pretend you’re a giant. But if you find them on sale in a Queens bodega anytime soon, you might want to resist the urge to buy them.

MORE: Mountain Man in Utah Out to Steal Cabins’ Coffee, Alcohol and Guns

15 comments
iMan93
iMan93

This same disgusting thievery is commonplace at the Port Authority Bus Terminal in NYC when it comes to lost & found property. The pubic must be aware of the crimes that are being committed against them when their lost property is stolen from the PABT's Lost & Found Dept. by Port Authority Bus Terminal Supervisors. Google  “Donna Lebourne abc news." & watch the video, or click on the link below.

http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?section=news/investigators&id=9105280

If you lost an item at the PABT & it was returned to you, put in a theft report with the PAPD to get your lost item replaced because most likely your item was stolen by PABT management. 

It would be nice to see the Port Authority aggressively go after the criminals and their enablers that they employ who engage in these same disgraceful crimes and even worse criminal acts, i.e. the unconscionable and highly illegally procedure of throwing lost passports found at the PABT in the garbage in this age of global terrorism and rampant identity theft. Google “found, stolen, trashed by PA.” See the link below.

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/found_stolen_trashed_by_pa_V4RMICgPyy2bhAVzDkW9EL

No one should be above the law no matter who they work for.

Derrill E Holly
Derrill E Holly

Funny thing about those little bottles. I but them for $.99 to $1.65 apiece to add variety to my home liquor cabinet in suburban Washington, D.C.  I have not bought an alcoholic beverage on an airplane since 09-11-2001, and likely never will.  Better to be alert and ready than pacified if the wrong motivations have someone on the plane.

The airlines charge far too much, and to steal 100,000 of the little bottles seems like terrible judgment.

Ken Rynne
Ken Rynne

Detectives also find 100s of headphone sets, cases of little pretzel bags,  and roomful of Skymall magazines.

Linda Pruitt
Linda Pruitt

In New York?  I'm shocked!  Round up the usual suspects.

Siegfried Heydrich
Siegfried Heydrich

Oh, c'mon, they needed them for their singalongs . . . you know . . .

100,000 bottles of booze on the wall, 100,000 bottles of booze

pull one down and pass it around, 99,999 bottles of booze on the wall

99,999 bottles of booze . . . etc

They have REALLY long singalongs . . .

John Poyhonen
John Poyhonen

No jail time for the crime of charging $7 for one of those tiny drinks on board? What a travesty of justice!

peterknight
peterknight

750K FOR 100K 1 and 2 oz. bottles? Man, NY is expensive.

Disquskurr
Disquskurr

Not surprising that Domingo Duran is a Dominican and a latina !!

Stefan Chex
Stefan Chex

JFK is a filthy, cramped, smelly, old, corrupt hellhole of a airport.  It is surrounded by cruddy immigrant neighbourhoods filled with people with shady morals and zero work ethic.  That airport is as cruddy and depressing as the rundown neighbourhoods that surround it, and I hate having to transfer through that airport.  Clean it up, Port Authority of NYC.  

Its quite telling that the airy and bright, brand new airport of Hong Kong m which welcomes you to most points in Asia, is a modern wonder of airport travel While the beacon international gateway airport for eastern America is JFK.  Which country is rising, and which is declining, you be the judge. 

Mister Heisenberg
Mister Heisenberg

as a victim of luggage theft coming home from an international flight via JFK, i cant help but wonder what other crimes the crooked security guards were overlooking.  never mind the recent arrest of a baggage handler (for AA, no less) for smuggling cocaine from the carribean.  i am convinced that if investigators do their jobs and really look at whats going on at JFK, they'll find it's crooked up and down.  

i seriously wonder if there's any possibility for a class action suit against the port authority for criminal negligence here.  

Linda Pruitt
Linda Pruitt

Flag as Hong Kong ad.   Pot calling the kettle black.