BRIEF: 7 men sentenced in scheme to steal luggage from airport

Aug. 11--Seven men who worked for an aviation firm have been sentenced in connection with the theft of passengers' luggage from George Bush Intercontinental Airport earlier this year.

Erick Perez, 28; Daniel Venegas, 25; Carlos Osorio, 24; Javier Hernandez, 24; Julius Jones, 27; and twin brothers Ricardo and Manuel Aguilar, 23, pleaded guilty to engaging in organized criminal activity, a second-degree felony, according to county records.

Perez, Venegas, Jones and Osorio were sentenced to four years in prison each, county records show. The records state that Hernandez and Manuel Aguilar received five-year sentences, and Ricardo Aguilar was sentenced to seven years.

The seven worked for British-based Menzies Aviation Group, which provides ground services and luggage handling at several airports in the United States and throughout the world.

Police began investigating after 68 bags were found in a commercial trash bin in northeast Houston on Dec. 26, 2006.

A total of 171 pieces of luggage, most of which were found to be international transit bags, eventually were found.

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