3rd ORF baggage handler pleads guilty in theft case

NORFOLK, Va (WAVY) – The third and final defendant has pleaded guilty in a case involving baggage handlers stealing items from checked luggage at Norfolk International Airport.

Donte Chandler, 24, pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court to one count of attempted mail fraud. Prosecutors say he stole an iPad from luggage on an US Airways flight inbound from Charlotte in July 2014. Chandler then contacted the owner, a sailor from California who was visiting Hampton Roads for training. The indictment says Chandler told the sailor he had bought the tablet on Craigslist for $200 but thought the listing was suspicious.

Prosecutors say Chandler then offered to mail the item to the sailor in return for $100. The government says Chandler did in fact mail the item to the owner, but never received payment. Investigators tracked Chandler down using the return address he placed on the package.

Chandler pleaded guilty to one count of attempted mail fraud. He faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing was set for March 16.

Two other defendants in the case pleaded guilty to conspiracy. Gregory Paul Wingard, Jr. and Chris Arthur Perry, Jr. were charged with stealing guns, jewelry and electronics. Each faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.Their sentencing is set for March 14.

All three men worked as baggage handlers for Envoy Air, part of American Airlines. The company no longer handles baggage at Norfolk International.

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