A Bergen County, N.J., man was denied boarding his flight after Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers at Newark Liberty International Airport detected numerous firearm parts that had been artfully concealed in one of the man’s checked bags late last night, Wednesday, July 27.
The firearm parts were detected after the man’s checked bag alarmed as it was going through the screening process. The baggage was flagged for a hand search and the TSA officer who was searching the bag came across a box labeled as ankle and wrist weights. The gun parts were concealed inside the weights.
When the TSA officer became suspicious of the box, it was opened and the weights removed for a closer inspection, at which time the gun parts were exposed. Port Authority Police and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials were alerted and reported to the TSA checked baggage room.
You might think that this would be one scenario where the traveler could not use the excuse that he did not realize he had a firearm in his bag. Not so. The traveler, a local resident who was ticketed to fly to Istanbul, Turkey, was detained for questioning by law enforcement officials. He told officials that a friend gave him the luggage to transport to Turkey and claimed that he did not know that the firearm parts were inside.
“This was an excellent catch on the part of our TSA team,” said Thomas Carter, TSA’s Federal Security Director for New Jersey. “Clearly the individual who packed the luggage knew that firearm parts were not to be transported or else they would not have attempted to conceal them in the way that they were. This individual now faces a stiff Federal financial civil penalty.”