A Pilot Was Arrested After TSA Found a Loaded Handgun in His Luggage
This story originally appeared on BusinessInsider.com.
A Sun Country Airline pilot was arrested in Florida on Friday night after a loaded handgun was found in his luggage as he passed through a TSA security checkpoint, according to multiple reports.
According to NBC 5 Minneapolis, Brian A. Machtemes, 54, a pilot for Twin Cities-based Sun Country Airlines was arrested on Friday night at the Southwest Florida International Airport on charges of unlicensed carry of a concealed firearm after a gun was found in his travel suitcase.
According to a police report provided to Business Insider by the Lee County Port Authority office associated with the Southwest Florida International Airport, the handgun was detected in a suitcase while being screened by a TSA x-ray operator at approximately 6:50 p.m.
According to the police report, Officer Jacob Brunick was called to the TSA checkpoint. Officer Brunick confirmed the bag belonged to Machtemes and that Machtemes had packed it himself and that it hadn't left his possession since being packed.
Brunick then searched the bag, and in the suitcase's second zipper pouch he found a .380-caliber pistol that was loaded with six rounds.
Machtemes provided a valid permit to carry a weapon in Minnesota, but "the state of Florida does not recognize a carry permit from MN," the police report read.
According to the report, Machtemes was read his Miranda rights and chose not to answer any further questions without his attorney present.
The Minnesota Star Tribune reports Machtemes posted bond, was released less than two hours later and given a November 26 court date.
In a statement provided to Business Insider, Sun Country Airlines confirmed Machtemes is a pilot for the airline and said, "In the interest of respecting the privacy of and preserving the trust of all our employees, we do not comment or confirm details related to individual employee conduct or work performance," adding that passengers of the flight Machtemes was scheduled to pilot were provided with hotels for the evening, and meal and flight vouchers.
The Minnesota Star Tribune reports TSA regulations allow for pilots under certain conditions to have a firearm in the cockpit, but it must be transported in a locked case when not on the flight deck.
Business Insider spoke with Mark Howell, a TSA Regional spokesperson, who said, "There's a very small population of pilots that can carry. They have to go through additional training, FFDO (Federal Flight Deck Officer), they have to go through a whole separate screening process that's different than just forgetting to have a firearm in your bag."