JFK workers accused of sneakers, electronics theft

By Sadef Ali Kully

Four airport employees were charged May 29 with grand larceny in two unrelated cases—one involving the theft of sneakers and the other electronics—Queens District Attorney Richard Brown announced this week.

In the first case, two male JFK employees allegedly stole 12 pairs of Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant’s new “KD8” basketball sneakers, which will retail for approximately $200 a pair. The sneakers, which will not be released for sale to the public until July, were en route from the factory in Taiwan to Ontario, via JFK Airport, according to Brown.

The accused—Calvin Nelson, 23, from Springfield Gardens and Audley Russell, 47, from Jamaica—were arraigned in Queens Criminal Court before Judge Laurie Peterson May 28 on criminal complaints charging each with grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property. They face up to four years in prison if convicted.

According to the criminal complaint, a Nike cargo manager discovered that a carton containing 12 pairs of KD8 sneakers arrived on May 9 at JFK on a flight but had not been forwarded to Canada.

The court complaints allege that after the carton went missing, photos of the KD8 sneakers were posted for sale on an Instagram account. It is alleged that the Port Authority Police viewed postings on the account, which allegedly belonged to Nelson, who worked as a airport security guard and whose ID card was swiped at the airport May 9.

Nelson was interviewed by Port Authority Police May 27 and allegedly stated that he had purchased the sneakers on Guy R. Brewer Boulevard May 10 from Russell. The criminal complaint said that Nelson showed the police text messages that he had exchanged with a cell phone belonging to Russell, who worked at Cargo Building 76 at JFK, and that some of the text messages he received from Russell included pictures of the sneakers.

In another case, two Brooklyn men who worked in a cargo warehouse at JFK were charged with stealing tens of thousands of dollars worth of electronics, announced the Queens District Attorney

The accused—Kason Alexander, 32, and Akanni Martin, 39, from Brooklyn—were arraigned on May 25 in Queens Criminal Court on charges of grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property, Queens prosecutors said.

The criminal complaints said that Alexander was spotted by a police officer urinating on the sidewalk in Brooklyn May 23. An officer approached Alexander and Martin in a vehicle allegedly belonging to Martin’s brother, and allegedly noticed two wooden crates in the car.

According to the court records, the crates contained 127 memory cards, 36 camera lenses, 52 Nikon cameras and 15 camera accessories. Police allegedly recovered 100 Kindle tablets from Alexander’s vehicle. The items recovered are valued in excess of $90,000, said the complaint.

If convicted, Alexander and Martin face up to 15 years in prison.

Reach Reporter Sadef Ali Kully by e-mail at skully@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4546.