Man ships himself in crate to parents’ house

14 years ago Comments Off on Man ships himself in crate to parents’ house

DALLAS (AP) _ The FBI and the Transportation Security Administration are investigating how a 25-year-old man succeeded in shipping himself from New York City to Dallas inside a wooden airplane cargo crate, arriving at his parents’ doorstep in DeSoto, a south Dallas suburb. Charles D. McKinley, 25, of New York City pried open the crate from inside with a crowbar Saturday morning, shook the hand of a shocked deliveryman and walked away, The Dallas Morning News reported Tuesday, quoting “a source familiar with the investigation.” The deliveryman called DeSoto police, who arrested him on outstanding warrants in Garland and Dallas County. Police then contacted the FBI. The FBI, the U.S. Attorney’s office and the Transportation Security Administration are investigating the incident. McKinley is being held in the Dallas County Jail, but he has not yet been charged with a crime, officials said. “It’s amazing that the gentleman survived. It’s absolutely a bizarre case,” said FBI Special Agent Lori Bailey, a spokeswoman for the Dallas field office. “Our concern at this point is to determine how this was done.” Unlike the tight federal security for airline passengers, air cargo receives little federal scrutiny and is the responsibility of the company that ships the freight. According to the Morning News, the source close to the investigation said McKinley spent at least half a day in the crate and broke out just in time for the deliveryman to see him. “If he would have waited 15 minutes, he would have been fine, and he would have been home free,” the source said. “We were clueless as to what to do. We sure don’t see something like this happen like this every day,” DeSoto Police Chief Mike Brodnax said. McKinley worked as a warehouse employee for a Dallas computer company, the Morning News said. A co-worker helped McKinley package himself inside a wooden crate that was labeled as computers and monitors, officials said. Fees for the shipment were charged to a cargo forwarding business their company has used, the source said. Officials said McKinley aboard pressurized Boeing 727s operated by Indiana-based Kitty Hawk Cargo from JFK International Airport to Fort Wayne, Ind., the company’s shipping hub. The company transferred McKinley’s crate to a second plane bound for Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. A ground shipping company, Pilot Air Freight of Lima, Pa., picked up the crate at DFW and delivered it to the residence of McKinley’s parents in DeSoto, the source said. “While this is a very unusual situation, we are fully cooperating with the regulatory agencies, the shipper and other parties handling this investigation,” Kim Wiemuth, a spokeswoman for Kitty Hawk Cargo, said in a prepared statement. “The shipment was tendered to us by a known shipper (Pilot Air Freight), which identified a small box as computer equipment. Kitty Hawk Cargo followed all current cargo security procedures.” At DFW, airport spokeswoman said inquiries were being referred to the TSA. TSA spokeswoman Suzanne Luber said only that officials planned to interview McKinley.