July 19, 2017
Central Florida Man Sentenced in a Scheme To Illegally Transport Airbags
On July 19, 2017, Andrius Kairaitis was sentenced in U.S. District Court, Tampa, Florida, to 3 years’ probation and 300 hours of community service, and fined $1,000. Kairaitis previously pleaded guilty to charges related to the illegal transportation of motor vehicle airbags in April 2017.
Kairaitis admitted that on or about April 20, 2015, he knowingly deposited a motor vehicle airbag for mail and delivery at a U.S. Postal Service (USPS) drop-off facility. When he purchased postage, Kairaitis was provided a warning stating that by purchasing postage from USPS, he was agreeing not to mail an item that was potentially hazardous. The airbag was intercepted by investigators. The investigation revealed that Kairaitis illegally sold and mailed over 1,200 motor vehicle airbags, which precipitated an alert from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to eBay.
A motor vehicle airbag system consists of multiple parts, including an engineered airbag inflator that, when triggered, causes an instantaneous chemical reaction that produces a sufficient amount of nitrogen gas to rapidly and fully inflate the airbag. Because of the airbag inflator, airbags are classified as a hazardous material by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and prohibited from being mailed through USPS.
DOT-OIG conducted this investigation with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office