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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Georgia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, February 27, 2015

Former Baggage Handler At Hartsfield-Jackson Airport Arraigned

ATLANTA – Eugene Harvey, a former baggage handler for Delta Air Lines, has been arraigned on federal charges of conspiring to carry dangerous weapons on an aircraft, firearms trafficking, and illegally entering an airport area to evade security and commit crimes.  Harvey was indicted by a federal grand jury on February 18, 2015.

“The indictment alleges that Harvey used his security badge again and again to bypass security and avoid screening, so that he could smuggle over one hundred firearms - many loaded - onto passenger planes” said Acting U.S. Attorney John Horn. “Reducing firearms trafficking is a priority for this office, especially when it threatens the safety of passengers at our airports.”
 
J. Britt Johnson, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office, stated: “The FBI continues to play a vital role in working with its many law enforcement partners in ensuring that our nation’s airports and those traveling in and out of them remain safe.  Those who violate procedures in place that jeopardize that security will be investigated and presented for federal prosecution.”

According to Acting U.S. Attorney Horn, the charges, and other information presented in court: Throughout 2014, Harvey, then a baggage handler for Delta Air Lines, worked with another former Delta employee to smuggle firearms through airport-controlled security checkpoints and onto planes.  Specifically, after using his security badge to smuggle the firearms into the secure area of Hartsfield-Jackson, Harvey would transfer the firearms to his accomplice who would then conceal the firearms in his carry-on luggage and take the firearms into the passenger cabins of flights traveling between Atlanta and New York's JFK and LaGuardia Airports.  Harvey's accomplice then flew to New York with the guns, where they were illegally sold.

The federal investigation into Harvey began when the New York Police Department (NYPD) and the Kings County, New York, District Attorney's Office notified the FBI that a then-unidentified individual was helping a gun-trafficker move guns illegally from Georgia into New York.  By that time, the NYPD had identified and arrested the New York seller of the illegal firearms, and was working with Atlanta FBI to investigate how the guns were being smuggled into New York.  Upon learning the firearms were being smuggled by passenger plane, Delta Airlines worked closely with law enforcement to identify Harvey and immediately terminated him.

Since January 2014, Harvey trafficked 135 firearms between Georgia and New York.  The last shipment on December 10, 2014, contained 18 firearms, 7 of which were loaded. 

Harvey, 31, of College Park, Georgia, was arrested on December 20, 2014, and was arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge E. Clayton Scofield III.  Members of the public are reminded that the indictment only contains charges.  The defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.

This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Federal Air Marshal Service, and the Transportation Security Administration.

Assistant United States Attorneys L. Skye Davis and Kim S. Dammers are prosecuting the case.

For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016.  The Internet address for the home page for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia Atlanta Division is http://www.justice.gov/usao/gan/.
Updated April 8, 2015