On Monday, New York authorities announced that a former truck driver had been sentenced to prison for his role in a major cargo theft scheme at John F. Kennedy Airport.
David Lacarriere, 34, was sentenced to between 5 1/2 and 11 years in prison, according to a news release from Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.
Lacarriere previously pleaded guilty to criminal possession of stolen property.
Lacarriere and Gary McArthur are primary defendants in a pair of luxury goods cargo thefts that took place at Kennedy Airport. Both men previously worked as truck drivers at the airport and allegedly used insider knowledge to orchestrate the cargo thefts.
The first heist took place on January 31, 2020, when Lacarriere allegedly used forged documents at a receiving office for an air cargo importer to intercept four pallets of Prada goods, NBC New York reports. Authorities said that McArthur, Lacarriere, and two others loaded the pallets onto a truck and drove away with about $804,000 worth of designer clothing, handbags, and accessories.
The truck was found days later abandoned with the interior doused in bleach.
The larger second cargo theft took place on May 17, 2020. Authorities say that once again, one member of the crew posed as a truck driver while another presented forged documents to gain access to a cargo importer facility at the Kennedy Airport. Once again, the crew was able to steal five air freight pallets loaded with Gucci and Chanel items worth about $4.4 million.
On May 29, 2020, Port Authority Police located the abandoned trailer in Maspeth. The trailer contained only pallets, shipping materials, and tags. Once again, the trailer had been doused in bleach in an effort to erase evidence.
Investigators tracked Lacarriere and his co-conspirators to a non-operational beauty salon called Candi World Beauty Bar believed to be used as a stash house for the stolen goods.
After putting Candi World under surveillance, police observed what appeared to be the sale of some of the stolen goods on June 3, 2020 and froze the location. Lacarriere reportedly ran from police and hid in the building.
Authorities executed a search warrant on the building and discovered Lacarriere hiding in a closet.
They also discovered “mountains of boxes stuffed with the stolen designer goods – still in the manufacturers’ packaging. In all, police recovered more than 3,000 authentic Gucci items – clothes, handbags and other accoutrements. They also recovered just over 1,000 authentic Chanel products – purses, jewelry, sunglasses, shoes and other accessories. The value of the recovered merchandise totaled more than $2.5 million,” according to D.A. Katz.
Co-defendant Oscar Asencio, 33, was sentenced in August to 3 1/2 to 6 years in prison, according to the news release.
Katz said, “Millions of dollars’ worth of designer merchandise was illegally hauled off airport property by a crew of bandits who used forged cargo shipment receipts to gain access to an importer/exporter warehouse. Keeping our airports in Queens safe and secure is a top priority of my office. Two of the defendants have now been sentenced by the Court for their roles in this brazen heist.”
Agencies assisting in the investigation included the Federal Bureau of Investigation, NYPD, PAPD, NYSP, HSI, CBP and Federal Air Marshalls.