2006-03-31 / Community

Two Locals Arrested In Airport Security Sweep

A Far Rockaway woman and an Arverne man are among the 24 airport workers who were arrested on Wednesday for falsifying security applications for work at JFK and LaGuardia Airports by failing to disclose prior criminal convictions.

Sonia Burgos, 44, of Seagirt Boulevard in Far Rockaway and William Speller, 27, of Beach 54 Street were arrested by Port Authority police and charged with offering a false instrument.

Queens District Attorney Richard Brown, whose office will handle the prosecutions, said that the defendants were each asked to fill out an application for a Security Identification Display Area (SIDA) Badge, required of al workers who must be inside an airport security zone. One of the questions on that application asks if the applicant has ever been convicted of a crime. Brown alleges that both Burgos and Speller lied by saying they had never been convicted of a crime when, in fact, they both had.

Brown said, "In this age of terrorist threats and heightened security, it is vitally important that those employed at our two major airports be above reproach in order to protect the safety of the traveling public. This includes those with access to secure areas as, as well at those who work beyond security check points, such as those employed at retail outlets and restaurants."

False Instrument Filing in the First Degree is punishable by up to four years in prison.

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