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Published on Thursday, March 2, 2017

Austin baggage handler charged with stealing guns from passenger bags

A baggage handler employed at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport has been charged with the theft of 'numerous' guns from passenger bags at the airport.
The Department of Justice alleges 25-year old Ja'Quan Johnson of Austin exchanged some of the guns for marijuana.
Austin Police department said it had recovered seven of the stolen guns and made two further arrests during their investigations.
Johnson faces up to 10 years in prison for each theft.
He was charged with multiple counts of theft from an interstate shipment and possession of stolen firearms, which authorities say took place between November 29, 2016 and February 2 this year.
The FBI, TSA and police investigation is still ongoing as Johnson made his first appearance before a federal judge this week.

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  • Nice to have the bags marked, too

    Many baggage agents aren't clear on the law and improperly tag the suitcase if it has a handgun in it, instead of actually tagging the locked hard shell case with the handgun. So Johnson likely had a ready source of information on which bags to break-in to.

    By Dillon Pyron, Friday, March 3, 2017

  • Stealing from "passenger bags"

    I am not surprised to hear this considering US is the only country that actually demands that travelers check in "unlocked bags or TSA approved locks"! Most other airports across the world choose to invest in large x-ray machines so locked bags can be scanned and pulled aside for any suspicious goods found there. The reason this has come to light is because these are fire arms. It is always unnerving that we have to check our bags in unlocked or only use TSA approved locks. Sadly I don't see any change to this rule in the near future.

    By Usha Rao, Thursday, March 2, 2017

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