Stealing more than $400,000 mini-bottles of alcohol from American Airlines
has resulted in arrest for 11 men, including nine employees of a company that
assembles the bottles, according to the New York Port Authority.
The men, described by the New York Post as a "brazen ring of booze boosters,"
stole 50-milliliter bottles "by the caseload" from the assembler's
facility at La Guardia Airport, then sold them to delis, bodegas and grocery
stores throughout New York City, said Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.
The total value of the bottles was placed at $1.5 million.
Brown said the ring even took orders from its customers for specific types
of alcohol, including Dewar's scotch, Courvoisier cognac and Bacardi rum.
The Post reported that nine of the men worked for Sky Chefs Inc., the bottle
assembler, while the other two worked for North American Aviation, a US Airways
The arrests came after Port Authority police, acting on a tip, set up a surveillance
dubbed "Operation Swig Swag." They saw workers driving Sky Chefs trucks
full of liquor cases to "their own vehicles" and unloading them into
their cars, said Port Authority Deputy Superintendent George Johansen.
New York Post