3 charged in alleged mail theft at airport

BWI worker stole checks, credit cards, officials say

September 08, 2004|By Stephanie Hanes | Stephanie Hanes,SUN STAFF

A baggage handler at Baltimore-Washington International Airport has been arrested -- along with his wife and a New York man -- and charged in connection with a mail-theft scheme.

Prosecutors said Kehinde Akintola Oladapo, 47, of Lanham took dozens of credit cards, bank convenience checks and other financial documents from mail that was supposed to be loaded on flights out of BWI. He then sent those items to Oladapo Udukale, a 34-year-old Brooklyn man who was planning to distribute them across the country, prosecutors said.

Udukale was arrested in New York late last week and was charged with conspiracy, possession of stolen mail and identity theft. Oladapo and his wife, 45-year-old Olushola Oladapo, were in Baltimore's federal court yesterday for their initial appearance, a preliminary step in the criminal legal process. They are being held without bail until their detention hearing, scheduled for tomorrow. The U.S. Postal Inspection Service has been investigating repeated complaints about mailed checks and credit cards disappearing from BWI, said Frank Schissler, a postal inspector spokesman.

Prosecutors said the probe took inspectors to the BWI post office, where they found a package addressed to New York filled with stolen mail. That led agents to Kehinde Oladapo, who they say had tried to send the package to Udukale in Brooklyn.

Udukale "had a lot of stolen mail -- credit cards and checks," Schissler said.

During a search of Oladapo's Prince George's County home, investigators found in his wife's purse four credit cards in other people's names, as well as an express mail envelope addressed to a Brooklyn address agents said was connected to the scheme, prosecutors said. Olushola Oladapo was charged with conspiracy to commit mail theft.

Last year, another BWI baggage handler, Biodun Sholoa, was sentenced to 57 months in prison for stealing and misusing checks that were being routed through the airport.

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