Local

Three more people with guns caught Thursday trying to board planes in Charlotte

Paula Chipman
Paula Chipman

Three travelers were charged Thursday with trying to bring loaded handguns onto planes at Charlotte Douglas International Airport, marking the second time in seven days Charlotte Mecklenburg police have made such arrests.

It’s believed the man and two women were not part of a coordinated effort. The same was true March 2, when two men were arrested with loaded guns at the airport.

During the latest arrests, the first came just after 6:30 a.m. at Checkpoint D, the second at Checkpoint B just after 10 a.m. and the third at 9 p.m. at Checkpoint C. CMPD identified the three as: Shane Derry, 33, of Lexington, Paula Chipman, 56, of Charlotte, and Lisa Blalock, 50. Blalock’s hometown was not available Thursday afternoon.

All three were charged with possession of a dangerous weapon on city property. Details about the weapons have not yet been released.

Transportation Security Administration officers detected the guns and ammunition as the travelers were passing through the airport checkpoints.

The TSA officers who were staffing the checkpoint’s X-ray machines detected the firearms as they passed along the conveyor belt inside the traveler’s carry-on bags. TSA officers immediately contacted CMPD, which responded to the checkpoints. The passengers were questioned and arrested on a local charge of carrying a firearm on airport property.

Two men were arrested March 2 for attempting to carry loaded guns through check points at Charlotte Douglas.

Edward Richards, 45, of Holly Springs in Wake County, and Pavel Fetkevich, 38, of Indian Trail, were charged with carrying a firearm on city property. Both men are scheduled to appear in court April 6.

A police report said one of the two weapons was a Smith & Wesson Bodyguard 380 pistol. The second weapon was not described.

TSA said the two arrests were separate incidents. In neither case did the men make it into a plane with their weapon, officials said. Officers staffing the checkpoint’s X-ray machines detected the firearms as they passed along the conveyor belt inside the men’s carry-on bags.

To date, TSA officers have detected 12 firearms at CLT checkpoints this year. TSA found 53 firearms at CLT last year.

Bringing guns to an airport checkpoint is illegal.

Passengers are permitted to travel with firearms in checked baggage if they are unloaded, packed in a hard-side case, locked, and packed separately from ammunition. Then the firearm must be taken to the airline check-in counter.

Related stories from Charlotte Observer

  Comments