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Los Angeles airport cargo handlers accused of stealing gold bars

The pair worked for a cargo handling company that does business at LAX, and four gold bars worth $56,000 each were stolen, officials said.

Two Los Angeles-area cargo handlers accused of stealing gold bars from an air shipment were arrested Tuesday.

The gold bars, which are each worth about $56,000 and weigh about 2 pounds — were taken last year at Los Angeles International Airport and later recovered, according to federal officials.

Marlon Moody, 38, and Brian Benson, 35, are charged with conspiracy and theft of interstate and foreign shipment, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of California said.

Online federal court records did not appear to show attorneys for either man Tuesday night. Attempts to find phone numbers associated with either man were not immediately successful.

Moody and Benson worked for a private company that provides ground cargo handling services at the airport.

The bars were in a 2,000-bar shipment that was sent from Australia to New York and arranged by a Toronto bank, an indictment says.

The larger shipment stopped at LAX on April 22, 2020, and was taken by a different cargo company to the airline's warehouse, according to court documents. After the company in charge of the shipment secured it and took it outside the airport, a box containing 25 gold bars was discovered missing, the documents say.

Moody then allegedly found that box near the warehouse the next morning. He moved it before taking four bars, according to the indictment. The two men discussed the gold over texts, and Moody gave Benson one gold bar, the indictment says.

The box with the other 21 missing gold bars was found by other cargo handlers that day.

Moody allegedly buried two of the three bars and gave another to a relative. Benson allegedly put the gold bar he had in a bedroom, the indictment says. All four were recovered.