TSA: Yorker with loaded gun in bag arrested at BWI

Christopher Dornblaser

A Spring Garden Township man was found with a loaded gun at the Baltimore Washington International airport, according to officials.

Officials said John James Spanos, 48, of Spring Garden Township, brought this gun to the Baltimore Washington International Airport Monday, May 14. Photo courtesy of the Transportation Security Administration.

The Transportation Security Administration said in a news release Monday, May 14, that a man's .357 caliber handgun was found in his carry-on luggage when the bag entered the TSA checkpoint Monday.

It was found by a TSA officer who was staffing the X-ray machine, the release states.

TSA officials contacted the Maryland Transportation Authority Police, who confiscated the loaded gun and arrested the man, according to the TSA.

Cpl. Edward Bartlinski, the Maryland Transportation Authority's public information officer, identified the man as John James Spanos, 48, of the 1400 block of Turnberry Court, in Spring Garden Township.

Spanos told TSA officials that he forgot he had his gun with him, according to the release.

Bartlinski said Spanos is charged with transporting a firearm and carrying an unauthorized weapon in the airport. Spanos was released on his own recognizance, Bartlinski said.

A number listed for Spanos was disconnected when called Tuesday, May 15.

The weapon was the ninth firearm found at the airport this year, the TSA news release states. There were 26 guns discovered at the airport in 2017, and 24 found in 2016, according to the TSA.

One of those nine guns was another allegedly carried by a York County man. An Etters-area man was stopped at the TSA checkpoint April 21 after a TSA officer spotted a pistol in his carry-on bag, according to TSA spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein. The .380 caliber Ruger was loaded with seven bullets, including one in the chamber, she said.

The Etters-area man also told TSA officials that he forgot he had the gun in his bag, Farbstein said.

The TSA has the authority to assess civil penalties of up to $13,000 for a weapons violation, the TSA said. Typically, a first offense for carrying a handgun into a checkpoint is $3,900, according to the release.

Additional information on traveling with a firearm may be found here.

— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at cdornblaser@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser