U.S. Attorney's Office
Eastern District of Virginia
(757) 441-6331
December 8, 2015

Airport Baggage Handler Pleads Guilty to Attempted Mail Fraud

NORFOLK, VA—Donte Chandler, 24, of Norfolk, pleaded guilty today to charges relating to his theft of personal property from a passenger’s bag while working as a baggage handler at the Norfolk International Airport.

In a statement of facts filed with the plea agreement, while working as a baggage handler at the Norfolk International Airport, Chandler removed an iPad from checked baggage located in a secure area of the airport. The iPad belonged to a passenger who was an active duty service member and had been provided the iPad by the U.S. Navy as part of an intelligence class. After removing the iPad, Chandler called the sailor and told him that he had found and purchased the iPad on Craigslist for $200. The sailor offered Chandler $100 to mail the iPad back to him at his California address. Chandler agreed to the $100 offer and placed the iPad in the mail.

Chandler was indicted by a federal grand jury on Oct. 7, 2015. Chandler faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison when sentenced on March 16, 2016. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; and John S. Adams, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office, made the announcement after the plea was accepted by U.S. District Judge Raymond A. Jackson.

This case was investigated by the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office with the assistance of Transportation Security Administration and U.S. Airways. Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph E. DePadilla is prosecuting the case.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:15-cr-128.

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