Investigations

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Four Sentenced for Stealing from British Airways Passengers

Four ramp agents who worked for a contractor of British Airways at Miami International Airport were sentenced for stealing valuables from the luggage of British Airways passengers after earlier pleading guilty. While some of the group stood lookout, others they would break open luggage inside the planes' cargo hold and steal jewelry, laptops, perfume, and anything else of value. During the 10-day period in September covered in the indictment, British Airways claimed losses and damage of over $10,000. A surveillance camera set up by British Airways led to the thieves' arrest.

A U.S. District Court judge in Miami ordered Jorge A. Benitez and Jose Leon to 60 days in jail and 100 hours of community service. Maynor Hernandez and Pierre A. Bourdeau were sentenced to 3 years' probation and 200 hours of community service. The defendants were also ordered to pay $10,000 in restitution. Sentencing for the remaining two defendants is scheduled later this month. The defendants were arrested in December 2002 by OIG, the Miami-Dade Police Department, and U.S. Customs Service.