Airport Baggage Handlers Plead Guilty to Theft Conspiracy
NORFOLK, VA—Chris Arthur Perry, Jr., 25, of Chesapeake, and Gregory Paul Wingard, Jr., 27, of Norfolk, pleaded guilty today for their roles in a conspiracy to steal valuable items from passengers’ bags at the Norfolk International Airport.
In a statement of facts filed with the plea agreement, from approximately December 2013 to June 4, 2015, Perry and Wingard used their positions as baggage handlers to break into checked baggage in the secure area of the Norfolk International Airport. They removed money, electronics, and other valuable items and then sold the items to members of the community or to pawn shops in the Tidewater area. Perry and Wingard specifically targeted firearm containers while searching for bags to break into. Part of the conspiracy was to steal firearms by switching baggage tags, causing firearm containers to be transported away from the original intended destination and preventing detection from law enforcement.
Perry and Wingard were indicted by a federal grand jury on Oct. 7, 2015. Each man faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison when sentenced on March 14, 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 pleas were accepted by U.S. Magistrate Judge Douglas E. Miller.
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 this 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-131.