QUEENS, N.Y. — A former New York truck driver has been sentenced to up to 11 years in prison after pleading guilty in September to holding more than $2.5 million in stolen Gucci and Chanel designer merchandise.
According to Queens, New York, District Attorney Melinda Katz, David Lacarriere, 34, was part of a larger plot to steal more than $4 million in luxury items from the John F. Kennedy International Airport.
The criminal enterprise began in May 2020, Katz said.
Lacarriere and another defendant, who was previously sentenced, were caught with jewelry, handbags, ready-to-wear clothes, sneakers and other accessories.
“Millions of dollars’ worth of designer merchandise was illegally hauled off airport property by a crew of bandits who used forged cargo shipment receipts to gain access to an importer/exporter warehouse,” Katz said. “Keeping our airports in Queens safe and secure is a top priority of my office. Two of the defendants have now been sentenced by the court for their roles in this brazen heist.”
Lacarriere, of Columbus Avenue in Manhattan, pleaded guilty in September to criminal possession of stolen property in the first degree, a B felony, before Queens Supreme Court Justice Gene Lopez. He was sentenced on Nov. 8.
Co-defendant Oscar Asencio, 33, of 88th Street in Elmhurst, Queens, pleaded guilty in August to criminal possession of stolen property in the third degree, also before Justice Lopez, who sentenced Asencio on Aug. 16 to 3.5 to six years in prison.
According to court documents, on May 17, 2020, forged documents were used to gain access to a cargo importer facility at the Kennedy airport, where the theft crew made away with a large shipment of high-end, designer merchandise in an 18-wheeler.
Port Authority Police recovered the abandoned semi trailer used in the heist on May 29, 2020, on 56th Road in Maspeth, New York.
Inside, police found only shipping pallets, shipping tags, wrapping material and display cases.
In an effort to erase evidence, the trailer was doused with bleach, police said.
Katz said the investigative team utilized physical investigative techniques, surveillance, as well as GPS and an extensive video canvassing to track Lacarriere and his co-conspirators to a non-operational beauty salon believed to be used as a stash house for the stolen goods.
Port Authority Police and the JFK FBI Task Force put the location – Candi World Beauty Bar at Guy R. Brewer and 147th Avenue in Jamaica – under physical surveillance.
Defendant Asencio, according to court records, helped protect the stolen merchandise in the stash location. Asencio was seen on surveillance video carrying bags filled with the stolen property in and out of the building.
Katz said that while observing what appeared to be a sale of some of the stolen property on June 3, 2020, the investigative team froze the Candi World location.
Spotting the authorities, Lacarriere ran from police and hid inside the building. The investigative team executed a court-authorized search warrant for the location, searched the site, and found Lacarriere hiding in a closet.
Additionally, police discovered mountains of boxes stuffed with the stolen designer goods – still in the manufacturers’ packaging, according to court documents.
In all, police recovered more than 3,000 authentic Gucci items – clothes, handbags and other accoutrements. They also recovered just over 1,000 authentic Chanel products – purses, jewelry, sunglasses, shoes and other accessories. The value of the recovered merchandise totaled more than $2.5 million.
Katz said the investigation and prosecution uncovered a weakness in the security of the region’s air cargo industry. Working with the Port Authority and the Transportation Security Administration, improved safety and security measures have been implemented, she said.
The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.