Crime and Courts

2 NYC Men Behind $6M Heists of Luxury Goods at JFK Airport Get Prison Time

The crew is accused of hauling tractor-trailers loaded with more than $6 million worth of designer merchandise from JFK Airport in two complex heists; the latest defendant only faces charges in the second one

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Two men involved in a briefly successful pair of heists that netted $6 million worth of luxury designer goods from a New York City airport have been sentenced to prison following guilty pleas in Queens Supreme Court.

David Lacarriere, of Manhattan, one of two alleged coordinators behind both JFK Airport heists in early 2020, pleaded guilty in September to criminal possession of stolen property, District Attorney Melinda Katz announced Monday. The first degree crime is a class B felony.

Lacarriere was accused of holding more than $2.5 million in stolen Gucci and Chanel designer goods when he was arrested last October, the district attorney said. On Monday, Queens Supreme Court Justice Gene Lopez sentenced Lacarriere to 5 ½ to 11 years in prison.

The 34-year-old was one of two truckers who formerly worked at Kennedy Airport and was accused of using his "inside knowledge" to coordinate two heists. Gucci purses, sunglasses, sneakers and clothing, along with Prada bags, ready-to-wear and accessories were among the loot lifted from the airport last year.

According to his indictment, Lacarriere went to the receiving office for an air cargo importer on Jan. 31, 2020, and showed a forged document with an airway bill and flight details for a Prada shipment. He and Gary McArthur, the other man with "inside knowledge" and who allegedly enlisted the assistance of two others, then loaded four pallets of Prada merchandise onto a tractor-trailer and drove off, prosecutors said. That heist netted them about $804,000 in Prada bags, clothes and accessories.

The truck involved in the robbery was found a few days later, but it was empty -- and the interior had been doused in bleach.

The crew allegedly repeated the same routine in a separate JFK heist on May 17. One allegedly posed as a truck driver while another presented another forged document -- and the group made off with five air freight pallets containing thousands of Chanel and Gucci items worth more than $4.4 million.

That tractor-trailer was also recovered a few days later, once again with an interior drenched in bleach. Shipping tags and display cases were also still inside.

In June, prosecutors say police tracked down the crew members to a nonoperational beauty salon in Jamaica they say was used as a stash house for the stolen goods. When cops got a warrant to search it, they interrupted a sale of more than $300,000 in stolen designer goods, according to the indictment. During a separate search, they recovered more than 3,000 Gucci items and over 1,000 Chanel products worth an estimated $2.5 million or more.

"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," Katz said Monday.

Her announcement also included mention of an August sentencing for Oscar Asencio, who pleaded guilty that month to criminal possession in the third degree. Justice Lopez sentenced the 33-year-old man from Elmhurst to 3 ½ to 6 years in prison.

Ascencio had been accused of helping protect the stolen goods in the Jamaica stash house. Prosecutors said he was one of two alleged co-conspirators who remained at large last year as authorities announced indictments in Oct. 2020. He was finally arrested in March 2021.

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