Crime underway at JFK: Authorities

By Sarina Trangle

Crime at JFK Airport did not take a holiday.

Authorities announced over the past week that 203 counterfeit designer goods were seized at the airport, a TSA agent was convicted of stealing $10,000 from passengers and indictments charged a Delta employee and three others with running 153 guns from Georgia to New York, officials said.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced Dec. 23 that staff at John F. Kennedy International Airport mail facility uncovered 203 knock-off Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Michael Kors, Chanel and Coach sneakers, handbags, watches and sunglasses in an operation dubbed Bad Gifts conducted earlier this month. Robert Perez, the agency’s director of field operations in New York, said the confiscated items were collectively estimated to cost $450,000.

“CBP’s efforts to prevent these counterfeit items from entering the United States are crucial to protecting consumers and our economy,” Perez said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said a Transportation Security agent stationed at Kennedy had been convicted of grand larceny stemming from the theft of $10,000 in cash from two passengers.

Prosecutors contended TSA agent Alexandra Schmid, 34, of Brooklyn, separated a family from their luggage and other belongings for about 15 minutes Dec. 9, 2011, denied she touched the items and the group then discovered $6,000 had been taken from a jacket pocket.

In another incident, Schmid also accused a victim’s son of stealing $4,000 in cash and jewelry from his mother’s purse when the pair went through security Jan. 5, 2012 and then complained the goods were missing, the DA said.

She faces up to 14 years behind bars following her four-week trial, according to Brown.

Schmid’s attorney Howard Greenberg said she was acquitted on half the accounts she was initially charged with, and he expected the remaining charges to be dropped on an appeal.

“I will quit the practice of criminal law if she spends even a day in jail,” Greenberg said.

Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson unveiled a 52-count indictment describing JFK’s role in an alleged gun trafficking scheme that brought 153 weapons, including an AR-15, AK-47s, 9-mm handguns and Glock pistols, from Georgia to Brooklyn.

Thompson said Eugene Harvey, a Delta ramp agent stationed at Harstfield-Jackson International Airport who was not required to be screened, allegedly brought guns through security for Canarsie resident Mark Henry in exchange for cash.

Harvey was arrested in Georgia and arraigned on a federal complaint in that state, Thompson said.

Henry allegedly carried backpacks and carry-ons full of guns and ammo on commercial flights from Atlanta to New York nearly 20 times, the DA said.

He and others alleged to have been involved with distributing the guns in New York — Ernest Leneau, of Canarsie, Adrian Alleyne, of Canarsie, and Grayling Smith, of Crown Heights — face a 591-count indictment on conspiracy, gun and other charges, the DA said.

Terrance Sweeny, Henry’s attorney, said his client maintains his innocence and plans to fight the charges in court.

The other defendants’ lawyers could not immediately be reached for comment.

Reach reporter Sarina Trangle by e-mail at stran‌gle@c‌ngloc‌al.com or by phone at (718) 260–4546.

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