DALLAS — Federal agents say they are investigating how a man succeeded in stowing away in a cargo plane (search) on a flight from New York to Dallas by shipping himself in a wooden crate.
After hours of traveling, Charles McKinley, 25, of New York City, pried open the crate with a crowbar Saturday morning, authorities said. He popped up outside his parents' doorstep in suburban DeSoto, shook the hand of a shocked deliveryman and walked away, The Dallas Morning News reported Tuesday.
The deliveryman called DeSoto police, who arrested him on outstanding Texas warrants.
McKinley has not been charged with a crime, officials said.
The FBI and the Transportation Security Administration (search) are investigating.
"It's amazing that the gentleman survived. It's absolutely a bizarre case," said FBI Special Agent Lori Bailey, a spokeswoman for the Dallas field office. "Our concern at this point is to determine how this was done."
Officials said McKinley's crate was put aboard a pressurized Boeing 727 (search) operated by Indiana-based Kitty Hawk Cargo from Kennedy International to Fort Wayne, Ind. The crate was transferred to a second plane bound for Dallas-Fort Worth International.
A ground shipping company picked up the crate and delivered it to the residence of McKinley's parents. McKinley spent at least half a day in the crate and broke out just in time for the deliveryman to see him, authorities said.
Air cargo receives less scrutiny than airline passengers in the heightened security imposed after the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
"While this is a very unusual situation, we are fully cooperating with the regulatory agencies, the shipper and other parties handling this investigation," Kim Wiemuth, a spokeswoman for Kitty Hawk Cargo, said in a statement. "Kitty Hawk Cargo followed all current cargo security procedures."
I was watching E! this morning, and with the amount of information they gave just about the prison experience, I think we can be assured that this whole sordid tale will never die. I must even admit that I was a little interested in the incarceration.