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Carlsbad Man Allegedly Had Gun on Plane

December 23, 1987|Associated Press

CHICAGO — Police at O'Hare International Airport found a small gun on an American Airlines passenger Tuesday shortly after the man disembarked from a flight from John Wayne Airport in Orange County, authorities said.

Charles Piel, 26, of Carlsbad, Calif., was arrested about 3:20 p.m. by Chicago police after the pilot of an American Airlines jet radioed the control tower that the man had been smoking marijuana in one of the plane's restrooms, said Mort Edelstein, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration.

"One of the flight attendants discovered the man smoking marijuana and informed the captain, who in turn called Chicago police while en route and asked them to meet the plane at the airport," Edelstein said.

Police and FAA officials met the flight, and Piel was arrested after a search revealed a small amount of marijuana and the gun, Edelstein said.

The gun, called a penchant clip pen gun, resembles a standard writing pen but contains one 22-caliber bullet, Edelstein said.

The FAA spokesman said he did not know whether the gun was capable of being fired.

FAA officials are investigating how Piel managed to get the weapon past electronic screening systems at the John Wayne Airport in Newport Beach, where the flight originated, Edelstein said.

Preliminary charges filed Tuesday against Piel include felony possession of marijuana and unlawful use of a weapon, Edelstein said.

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