Skip to comments.The cargo stowaway is a liar, too. We must do something about air cargo to secure it.
Posted on 09/14/2003 2:08:24 PM PDT by blakeb52
HEADLINE: Stowaway: 'This was my own plan'; Crate rider's statement to FBI contradicts his story to police, media
SOURCE: Dallas Morning News
BYLINE: DAVE LEVINTHAL
BODY: The man who shipped himself from New York City to Dallas inside an air cargo crate repeatedly lied to police and media outlets about his bizarre journey during which he eluded security at five airports, according to documents obtained Friday.
Charles D. McKinley originally told DeSoto police and media that he first flew Sept. 5 to Kentucky aboard a passenger airline and was duped by an accomplice into sealing himself in a crate. He also told reporters during jail interviews that he walked freely throughout the planes he traveled aboard.
But the 25-year-old New York City man contradicted these assertions in a signed statement to FBI Special Agent Garrett Gumbinner and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport Department of Public Safety Sgt. Tim Coyle, who interviewed him Monday night.
"This was my own plan. No one helped me with it no one else assisted me," Mr. McKinley wrote.
A friend whom Mr. McKinley asked to help "thought I was crazy and didn't want too [sic] get involved in it," he wrote in his statement.
His 1,500-mile journey has renewed debate across the country about the security of the air cargo system. The companies involved in shipping Mr. McKinley's crate have said all current policies were followed.
Mr. McKinley declined repeated requests Thursday and Friday for a jailhouse interview. He spoke with more than a dozen reporters Tuesday and Wednesday.
Two men who Mr. McKinley originally said played significant roles in his shipment only helped him procure shipping material, he said in the statement.
Phone and e-mail messages left for the two men were not returned Friday. Attempts to contact the company where Mr. McKinley told police he works were unsuccessful.
Mr. McKinley charged what he said was a $ 668.70 United Parcel Service shipping bill to this company, he told investigators.
"I was not going to pay UPS once I got home," Mr. McKinley wrote. "I was broke and couldn'tt [sic] afford a ticket to fly home."
Mr. McKinley has maintained that he was homesick and only wanted to visit his parents in DeSoto. His parents would not give him the money for an airline ticket, he told police.
One of the two friends Mr. McKinley mentions brought him a wooden crate measuring 42-by-36-by-15 inches. "I thought it was big enough for me to fit in," Mr. McKinley wrote.
When he arrived at his parents' house, Mr. McKinley said, the deliveryman saw him inside the crate. "I got scared, and kicked myself out," he wrote. "I got out and took the crate off the back of the truck."
U.S. Attorney Jane Boyle filed a federal complaint Wednesday charging Mr. McKinley with "stowaway on aircraft," a misdemeanor. If convicted, he could face up to a year in prison and a $ 1,000 fine. More federal charges may follow, authorities have said.
Mr. McKinley will appear next week in Fort Worth before federal Magistrate Judge Charles Bleil for an initial hearing, the U.S. attorney's office said.
He was originally arrested on two outstanding warrants for theft by check charges in Garland and Dallas County. Earlier this week he pleaded guilty to violating probation on a 1999 bad check conviction and was sentenced to 120 days in jail.
The Transportation Security Administration and FBI continue to investigate the incident.
Not to mention the embezzlement of $ 668.70
SS. He worked for an air cargo company. He knew the system. He was not shipped on an passenger plane. He was shipped on an air cargo plane. This would make the TSA only involved to a small degree. The problem I see is the feds dropping the hammer on "Kitty Hawk" the air cargo company that he shipped himself by. The were decived by this jerk and now they will be run through the ringer. And may be made to close their doors!
Mohammed seals himself in a crate with a knife or gun ... at altitude, he breaks out of the crate, goes to the cockpit, takes control, and flies into a building.
No big deal.
How is he going to get from the cargo hold to the passenger compartment? I believe they are separate compartments without a door between them. I'm sure there are experts that know more here. I was under the impression that these areas were at different temperatures and pressures as well.
I would be more concerned with somebody shipping a bomb as freight. I have heard that little of the freight that is also in the cargo hold is inspected. I can vouch for this on at least one instance. I shipped some hardware on a Saturday morning this past March using airline freight for a customer that needed it ASAP. They gave me their airline freight account number and the shipment was accepted without question, weighed (about 60 lbs in 3 boxes) and placed into a shipping container - the kind shapped to go into a commercial airplane. I do not know if there was further inspection but it did not look like that would be the case.
Better yet, Mo seals himself in a crate with a knife or a gun. The crate, which is a large container that has not been declared as needing special heating attention, goes into the aft cargo hold. The captain tells the first officer to turn off the bleed air to the aft cargo hold to conserve fuel as the airplane climbs to FL 350 (35,000 ft). Later as the crate is unloaded, popsicle Mo thumps through the wood as an ice man, his cold dead fingers wrapped around his weapon.
I love a happy ending.
Some are, and some aren't. There are cargo planes that have pressurized cargo areas, as is obvious by the fact that the stow away in the story didn't end up as a bloated popsicle. But there are certain configurations that would carry the freight in a manner that would make it possible to get to the cockpit area ... he may need a crow bar to open the door, but that is just a few more pounds of 'cargo' in the crate with him.
Yeah, but he didn't do that. I understand it is a big deal that it was allowed to happen, but they don't need to put this guy in jail.