An airport baggage handler was released from jail Monday and put on limited house arrest after being detained earlier this month for allegedly trafficking firearms through secured areas of the Atlanta International Airport.
According to the complaint, Delta Airlines employee Eugene Harvey repeatedly smuggled firearms — sometimes loaded — through airport security and passed them off to an accomplice who carried them on airplanes headed for New York, where the guns were to be sold illegally.
Mark Quentin Henry was arrested on Dec. 10 by authorities after an ongoing investigation conducted by the New York Police Department found he was transporting the guns from Georgia.
Henry was carrying a black Oakley backpack containing 18 handguns — seven of which were loaded — and a clear plastic bag of toiletries.
Henry told investigators that he used a buddy pass supplied by his mother, a retired Delta Airlines gate agent. The investigation later revealed that Henry himself worked for Delta as a baggage handler from February 2007 to December 2010 before being fired for abusing the buddy pass system.
After reviewing Henry’s call and data logs, authorities found several text messages to Harvey, which surveillance footage later confirmed were sent to coordinate the handoff of guns.
It’s unknown how exactly Henry got the guns through the Transportation Security Administration, but it’s believed Harvey was able to help him get the guns past the checkpoint, according to the complaint.
Once at gate B-26, the texting with Harvey began. Security footage shows Harvey walking into the men’s bathroom and Henry following behind a few moments later, according to the complaint. Harvey then leaves the bathroom and exits through a secured door — Henry walks to his departure gate in a different area of the airport.
Investigators found that the two have worked together to similarly traffic guns through the airport in the past.
Between May 1 and Dec. 10, Henry smuggled 129 handguns in various makes and models — including an AR-15 and AK-47 — to a co-conspirator who trafficked them to New York, where the firearms were then sold to an undercover officer.