ORLANDO, FL – According to officials, a 46-year-old man was arrested in January for allegedly trying to board an airplane in Orlando with a bag that hosted 22 pounds of methamphetamine.
— Billy Corben (@BillyCorben) February 3, 2021
Yet the suspect in custody claims that it’s a case of mistaken luggage, and that somebody must have switched bags with him while he was having a nap.
Let’s face it – there’s a lot of items one can’t host in their carry on luggage when boarding a plane – aerosol insecticides, baseball bats, cast iron cookware, cooking spray, even cutting boards.
Obviously, illegal narcotics are also among those prohibited items as well…but one can always count on Florida to have these types of brazen cases crop up.
On January 22nd, 46-year-old Eli Brown was at the Orlando International Airport attempting to board a plane at gate 35 at around 8:00 a.m. that morning.
At the time, a Transportation Security Administration agent had singled Brown out and stopped him for a random bag check before he could get aboard his flight that was destined for Louisville, Kentucky.
During this inspection of the suspect’s luggage, it was alleged that inside of a backpack in Brown’s possession were 22 vacuum sealed bags that were wrapped up in white clothing – with each bag allegedly containing approximately one pound of methamphetamine.
Also, inside of this backpack was reportedly $900 in cash.
How unlucky is THIS guy…
“TSA agent stopped Eli Brown at a gate for a random bag check before he could board his flight” https://t.co/3604Gx6bTI
— mark thompson (@MarkTLive) February 3, 2021
Police say that upon the discovery of said alleged narcotics, Brown had proclaimed that the bag wasn’t his.
Brown claimed that he fell asleep at the gate after coming in from Los Angeles, and when he woke up, the bag happened to be next to him and he just fathomed it was his since he had a bag that looked identical to it.
Apparently, that ‘bag switcheroo’ claim from Brown was about as effective as the contraceptives sold at a dollar store – in that it didn’t work.
In a post shared on Facebook, The Orlando Police Department shared a photo of the backpack and contents allegedly seized from Brown.
What has to be the most hilariously ironic contents pulled from the bag are the two bottles of 5-hour Energy that can be seen next to the methamphetamine pictured.
Why anyone would need two bottles of 5-hour Energy next to 22 bags of methamphetamine is beyond this author’s comprehension. Nonetheless, police say that the seized narcotics hold an estimated street value of half a million dollars.
The Orlando Police Department stated that Brown was arrested on a charge of trafficking in methamphetamine of over 200 grams. Which, in Florida, a conviction of said charge could result in up to 15 years in prison.
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Speaking of airport-related crimes, police in Chicago, Illinois recently arrested a man who was reportedly living undetected inside of an airport for roughly three months.
And the manner this individual went undetected made the charges a bit more serious than just living inside of an airport for months.
Here’s that previous report from January.
CHICAGO, IL – In what has to be one of the most bizarre stories as of late, a 36-year-old man was arrested after he had allegedly lived inside of Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport undetected for a period of three months.
From what officials say, this individual had also managed to gain access to restricted areas within the airport during his alleged three month stay.
Aditya Singh, 36, is charged with felony criminal trespass to a restricted area of an airport and misdemeanor theft. Police said Singh claimed he was too afraid to fly home to California because of COVID-19.https://t.co/UBTKLTX05z
— WGN Morning News (@WGNMorningNews) January 18, 2021
Aditya Singh was reportedly charged with felony criminal trespass to a restricted area of an airport and also misdemeanor theft for his purported airport exploits.
According to police, the suspect had resided within Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport from October 19th of 2020 up until January 16th of 2021.
During suspect’s alleged stay within the airport, it was said that he was reportedly too afraid to fly back to his home in California due to concerns over the pandemic.
While the suspect was allegedly inside of the airport, he was reportedly able to breached certain security zones during those three months.
Part of what may have aided the suspect in gaining access to certain restricted areas were the stolen credentials of an airline employee he was allegedly in possession of when he was taken into custody.
According to prosecutors, two United Airlines employees had confronted the suspect on January 16th and he allegedly produced a badge that belonged to an operations manager that had reported that badge missing since October of last year.
Following that interaction, airline employees reportedly called 911 and the suspect was taken into custody at approximately 11:00 a.m. that day in terminal two of the airport.
Needless to say, when the case was brought before Cook County Judge Susana Ortiz on January 17th, she was rather befuddled when she was told the details of the case:
“So if I understand you correctly… you’re telling me that an unauthorized, nonemployee individual was allegedly living within a secure part of the O’Hare airport terminal from Oct. 19, 2020, to Jan. 16, 2021, and was not detected? I want to understand you correctly.”
Based upon the case that has been presented by prosecutors, it seems as though Judge Ortiz did digest it correctly when it was brought before her in the courtroom.
Considering the concerns a case of this nature brings when regarding aspects related to airport security, The Chicago Department of Aviation released the following statement reiterating their commitment to the “safety and security” of their airports:
“CDA has no higher priority than the safety and security of our airports, which is maintained by a coordinated and multilayered law enforcement network.”
“While this incident remains under investigation, we have been able to determine that this gentleman did not pose a security risk to the airport or to the traveling public. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners on a thorough investigation of this matter.”
The defendant’s next court date is scheduled for January 27th.
Judge Ortiz also set bond for the defendant at $1000; however, if he does make bond the judge also ruled that the suspect cannot set foot into the airport he was alleged to have resided in for three months.
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