Cargo handler sentenced to life for airport plot

This courtroom sketch of June 20, 2007 shows Russell Defreitas at his arraignment at federal court in the Brooklyn borough of New York. ( (AP Photo/Christine Cornell, File) )

February 17, 2011 9:46:16 AM PST
A former cargo handler has been sentenced to life in prison for his role in a foiled terror plot against John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City.

Russell DeFreitas was convicted last year on multiple conspiracy charges. He was sentenced Thursday in federal court.

Federal authorities say DeFreitas was part of a terror cell that hatched a plot to blow up fuel tanks at Kennedy - an attack meant to outdo the death and destruction of Sept. 11, 2001. He was arrested in 2007 after an informant infiltrated the scheme and recorded the plotters.

Prosecutors had asked a judge to impose a life sentence on DeFreitas. His attorneys had argued he only deserved 15 years.