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Atlanta Baggage Handler Charged with Helping Smuggle Guns onto Flight

Tuesday, 23 Dec 2014 03:45 PM

By David Beasley

ATLANTA, Dec 23 (Reuters) - A Delta Air Lines baggage handler has been charged with helping another man smuggle 18 handguns onto a flight from Atlanta to New York City, according to a federal criminal complaint.

Eugene Harvey, 31, is accused of helping a former Delta employee, Mark Quentin Henry, avoid detection of the guns by airport security on Dec. 10 before Henry boarded a passenger jet with the firearms in a carry-on bag, court records show.

Henry was arrested after arriving in New York, and federal agents took Harvey into custody at his Atlanta-area home on Dec. 20, Federal Bureau of Investigation spokesman Stephen Emmett said on Tuesday.

Harvey, who made his initial court appearance in Atlanta on Monday, is charged with firearms trafficking and illegally entering a secured airport area, the complaint said.

He has been fired from his job, Delta Air Lines Inc spokesman Morgan Durrant said on Tuesday.

"Delta is cooperating with authorities in this investigation," Durrant said. "We take seriously any activity that fails to uphold our strict commitment to the safety and security of our customers and employees."

Henry was charged with criminal possession and sale of firearms as part of an investigation by the New York City Police Department, according to court records.

Federal officials accused Henry of supplying a co-conspirator with 129 weapons, including two assault rifles, from Georgia between May and December. The guns were sold to a New York City undercover officer, investigators said.

Henry's cell phone showed that he called and texted Harvey before boarding the Dec. 10 flight from Atlanta to New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport with handguns and ammunition in his carry-on bag, federal officials said.

Security video showed Henry passing through airport security in Atlanta with a backpack, but U.S. officials do not believe the guns were inside the bag at the time.

Video footage later showed the two men entering and leaving the same airport bathroom. (Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Mohammad Zargham)

© 2017 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

   
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