ATLANTA - The man accused of smuggling weapons at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport last month was a former Delta Airlines employee with a felony conviction, Channel 2 Action News has learned.
Channel 2 investigative reporter Mark Winne confirmed with a spokesperson for the Kings County district attorney’s office in New York that Mark Quentin Henry, accused in the current Delta gun-smuggling case, had a criminal conviction in a 1993 case.
Records indicate that Henry worked as a ramp agent/baggage handler for Delta Airlines from early 2007 to late 2010.
Winne spoke with Lt. Tony Biello
, a former airport shift commander with the Atlanta Police Department, and asked what kind of access Henry would have as a baggage handler .
“Oh, they can get all over,” Biello said.
A statement by a federal air marshal says Henry supplied 129 handguns plus two assault rifles to a co-conspirator, who
then sold the guns to a New York undercover officer.
As Channel 2’s Rachel Stockman previously reported
, Henry is allegedly seen on surveillance video carrying a bag of guns through Terminal A in Atlanta and getting off a flight in New York.
A Delta employee allegedly bypassed security to help smuggle weapons to Henry as many as 20 times.
Winne learned that this is not Henry's first encounter with the law. He found records indicating that Henry was charged in 1993 and pleaded guilty in 1996 to a federal charge of making a false statement to a firearms dealer.
“Someone with that credential with Delta could be checking baggage for firearms for explosives. It’s kind of like having the fox in the henhouse,” Biello said.
A spokesperson with the Transportation Security Administration said background checks are completed for everyone with access to secure areas of the airport, such as baggage handlers and ramp agents.
But the TSA
said making a false statement to a firearms dealer is not one of the disqualifying offenses listed in federal regulations
“I think somebody dropped the ball. That should be a charge that disqualifies any employment at the airport,” Biello said.
A statement by a federal air marshal assigned to the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force said Henry was terminated for abusing the Delta Buddy Pass system.
Channel 2 Action News has had a producer working much of the day Monday to try to locate an attorney who could respond on Henry's behalf, but could not find one.
Winne asked Delta Airlines for a comment on
An email returned from a company representative said, “I have to decline comment due to an ongoing investigation."