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Archive for Saturday, November 1, 2003

Airport screeners at K.C.I. find gun

Suspect tells FBI he didn’t realize weapon was in bag

November 1, 2003

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— A 40-year-old Kansas City-area man was detained by federal authorities at Kansas City International Airport and could face state charges after airport security found a loaded handgun in his carry-on bag, authorities said Friday.

FBI spokesman Jeff Lanza said the man told authorities he was taking a Delta Airlines flight on short notice Thursday and didn't realize he had the weapon in his bag. Security workers called police after they noticed the gun as the bag went through screening equipment. Police then contacted the FBI.

After interviewing the man for about two hours, FBI agents determined he had no criminal intent and released him. Late Friday, Lanza said he was told Platte County prosecutors were considering charges.

Mike Fierberg, a spokesman for the Transportation Security Administration in Denver, said the man also could face a fine of up to $1,000.

"These things happen from time to time," Fierberg said. "What I understand is the passenger said he was suddenly called out of town and took a bag he didn't normally use. The FBI bought it. If they can't prove intent, it's a very hard case for a prosecutor to bring to court."

The man's name will be put into a TSA database, but he is not in danger of being put onto a no-fly list, Fierberg said.

Thursday's incident proves security at the airport is working, he said.

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