Security at the Hartsfield-Jackson airport in Atlanta may get a little tighter after an employee was caught helping a man smuggle loaded firearms onto a plane.
As surveillance footage shows, Eugene Harvey, a 31-year-old Delta baggage handler and ramp agent, used his privileges as an employee to carry out the operation, NBC News reported. Employees of the airport are not required to go through TSA screening, so Harvey would carry the guns past security with ease and take them into a bathroom. Once another man, Mark Quentin Henry, went through the security process, he would meet Harvey in the bathroom and pick up the guns, with some being loaded.
Henry is also a former Delta employee. He worked as a baggage handler and ramp agent until 2010, when he was fired for abusing his Buddy Pass privileges.
Henry— using Buddy Passes he acquired from his mother, a retired gate agent— flew to New York and reportedly sold the guns to an undercover officer, stated an affidavit filed by Senior Federal Air Marshal George Randell Taylor.
The two men are said to have executed this plan a few times since January, although Henry is said to have worked with another accomplice between May and Dec. Henry handed off 129 handguns to the other accomplice between those seven months.
Police caught and arrested Henry on Dec. 10 and and hit him with felony charges of criminal possession of weapons and criminal sale of firearms. At the time of his arrest, he had 18 guns in his possession, seven of which were loaded, the affidavit said.
Harvey was arrested Monday and charged with entering an airport area in violation of security requirements.
New York authorities began to monitor the operation once they became suspicious of Harvey trafficking firearms illegally.
Delta Air Lines said they are helping with the investigation of the incident. We take seriously any activity that fails to uphold our strict commitment to the safety and security of our customers and employees, a Delta statement said.