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Man With 3 Bullets in Coat Is Arrested at LAX

September 21, 2004|Zeke Minaya | Times Staff Writer

A man with three bullets sewed into the lining of his clothing was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport on Monday as he attempted to board a flight, authorities said.

The detention came on the first day of a new nationwide policy requiring additional screening of outer garments at airports.

Jay Daniel Brown, 39, bound for Austin, Texas, on an American Airlines flight departing from Terminal 4, was taken into custody by airport police about 5 p.m., said Nancy Castles of Los Angeles World Airports, the agency that operates LAX.

Officials at the airport turned Brown over to Los Angeles police after questioning, Castles said. Police were expected to book Brown on a charge of possession of a prohibited item.

Brown had two .38-caliber bullets and one .22-caliber bullet sewed into the lining of a leather jacket, Castles said. Authorities searched him but no firearm was found, she said.

Airport screeners detected the rounds after Brown removed the jacket and it was passed through a metal detector, Castles said. The Transportation Security Administration, the division of the U.S. Homeland Security Department that oversees the nation's airport screeners, had just launched new security procedures requiring that all coats, including suit and sport jackets, be removed and independently passed through X-ray devices.

Previously, only larger overcoats would have been searched, Castles said. The policy revision also requires a more extensive "pat-down" search if metal detector alarms are tripped.

Airport officials did not credit the new policy with the discovery of the ammunition, Castles said.

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