Sunday, February 19, 2012

Man charged with trying to carry loaded gun onto a plane at Chicago Midway International Airport (KMDW), Illinois

A Chicago man was arrested at Midway Airport on Saturday morning after an X-ray scan of his luggage showed he was carrying a loaded handgun in his laptop bag, prosecutors said.

Willie T. Thomas said he forgot the chrome semiautomatic .25-caliber Beretta pistol, loaded with eight live rounds, was in his bag when he went to the airport to board a flight to Atlanta to visit family, said his attorney, Michael Schmiege.

Thomas, 51, of the 8300 block of South Wabash Avenue was charged with attempting to board a plane with a weapon, and Cook County Judge Edward Harmening ordered him held on $30,000 bond Sunday.

The gun formerly belonged to Thomas’ deceased aunt, his lawyer said, and a police report indicated he has a valid state firearm card.

Thomas, an employee of Chicago’s Streets and Sanitation Department, would not have intentionally carried a loaded gun to the airport, Schmiege said, because that would be “about the stupidest thing anyone could ever do.”

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