Ex-PDX baggage handler admits stealing guns from luggage

Faces sentencing July 9 on federal charges

PORTLAND, Ore. - A 27-year-old Portland man and former baggage handler at Portland International Airport pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday to five counts of possessing a stolen firearm after he was caught stealing six guns in four weeks from the checked luggage of airline passengers.

According to court documents, between Aug. 19 and Sept. 17 of last year, Deshawn Antonio Kelly was employed as a contract baggage handler at PDX.

Over the four-week period, prosecutors said, Kelly stole six firearms— three 9mm pistols, two .40 caliber pistols and one .45 caliber pistol—from five different checked bags of travelers to and from Oregon.

Kelly was arrested at the airport on Sept. 25 and search warrants were conducted on his person, vehicle and residence. Prosecutors said Kelly admitted to stealing the six firearms, and told investigators where they were located.

A charge of possessing a stolen firearm carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years’ supervised release. Kelly will be sentenced on July 29 by U.S. District Court Judge Michael H. Simon.

This case was investigated by the FBI and the Port of Portland Police and is being prosecuted by Hannah Horsley, assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Oregon.

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