Los Angeles Airport Handlers Charged With Theft Of $ 224K Gold Bars
(KTLA) – Two men who worked for a cargo handling company at Los Angeles International Airport were arrested Tuesday morning for stealing $ 224,000 in gold bars shipped to New York City, prosecutors said.
South Los Angeles residents Marlon Moody, 38, and Brian Benson, 35, were indicted by a grand jury on one count each of conspiracy and theft of overseas shipping, said the US attorney’s office in Los Angeles in a press release.
They were taken into custody without incident by special agents of the FBI.
The four stolen gold bars were part of a larger shipment from Australia, and Moody is accused of taking them after part of the shipment separated from the rest when it arrived at LAX on April 22 2020.
The two men worked for Alliance Ground International, which provides ground handling services at the airport.
A Canadian bank had shipped 2,000 gold bars, each weighing one kilogram and valued at around $ 56,000, via Singapore Airlines. During a layover at LAX, the gold was removed from the plane and secured, but an inventory check that evening showed that a box of 25 bars was missing, prosecutors said.
The next morning, Moody allegedly discovered the missing box near the Singapore Airlines cargo warehouse and subsequently took four of the bars.
Benson picked up Moody in a company van, and the two exchanged texts about Moody’s gold stash because others were in the van, officials said.
When they left work, the suspects ended up in a nearby parking lot and Moody gave Benson one of the bars, according to the indictment.
Moody reportedly left the box with the rest of the gold on a conveyor belt, and other handlers tracked it down later that day, prompting an investigation into the four missing bars.
Moody is accused of giving one of the bars he stole to a family member a few weeks later, asking them to exchange it for a car or money. Prosecutors say he buried the other two in his backyard.
The FBI was able to recover the four stolen gold bars in about two weeks, authorities said.
The suspects could each face up to 15 years in federal prison if found guilty of both counts.