Two LAX Cargo Handlers Nabbed for Allegedly Stealing Gold Bars

One of the suspects is accused of burying the ill-gotten treasure in his South L.A. backyard

Two men working for a cargo handling company at Los Angeles International Airport were arrested Tuesday morning after they were indicted by federal prosecutors for stealing gold bars that were being shipped from Australia to New York by a Canadian bank, according to court records.

Marlon Moody, 38, is accused of burying two bars in his backyard and giving another one to a relative, while Brian Benson, 35, allegedly took one bar from Moody. Both men live in South L.A., prosecutors said, and worked for Alliance Ground International at LAX.

The two were arrested without incident by special agents with the FBI and expected to make their initial appearances this afternoon in United States District Court in downtown Los Angeles on charges of conspiracy and theft of interstate and foreign shipment.

The indictment alleges that on the evening of April 22, 2020, a shipment of 2,000 gold bars arrived at LAX on Singapore Airlines. A total of 2,000 gold bars worth about $56,000 were being shipped for the unnamed Canadian bank. During a stopover at LAX, the gold was offloaded and secured, but an inventory that evening showed one box containing 25 gold bars was missing.

Moody allegedly found the missing box of gold bars near the Singapore Airlines cargo warehouse on the morning of April 23, placed the box on a belt loader and “drove that vehicle” to a hidden location where he removed four of the bars. Soon after, Benson arrived to pick up Moody in a company van, where they exchanged text messages about the gold bars because other employees were in the van.

The duo later left the airport and went to a nearby parking lot, where Moody gave Benson one of the four gold bars, the indictment states. The lost box with the 21 remaining gold bars was discovered by other cargo handlers later on April 23, and it didn’t take long for investigators to begin eyeing Moody and Benson.

By then, Moody had allegedly given one of the gold bars to a relative, “and directed the family member to exchange the gold bar for a vehicle and/or money,” according to the indictment. The other two were buried in his backyard.

The FBI recovered all four of the gold bars. The accused gold thieves could face up to 15 years in federal prison if convicted.

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