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LAX passengers arrested over gun, marijuana in luggage [Updated]

November 10, 2011 |  2:59 pm

Los Angeles International Airport

Passengers were arrested at Los Angeles International Airport in two separate incidents Wednesday after security officials found a gun in one passenger's carry-on bag and two large bags of marijuana in another passenger's checked bags.

Transportation Security Administration officers found a .45-caliber handgun along with two loaded magazines with eight rounds inside a carry-on bag as the passenger went through security screening in Terminal 1 on Wednesday afternoon.

The passenger, who was bound for Tucson on Southwest Airlines Flight 2894, told officers he forgot the weapon was in his bag, officials said. He was arrested on suspicion of possession of a concealed firearm without a permit, and police confiscated the gun and ammunition.

That evening, TSA officers found two packages of marijuana in Christmas wrap, weighing about 50 and 70 pounds each, inside checked baggage. Officers searched the bags manually after the screening equipment was unable to determine what was inside them.

The owner of the bags, who was waiting to board Continental Airlines Flight 1579 to Cleveland, was arrested.

[Updated, 4:27 p.m.: Airport officials Thursday afternoon identified the passenger who allegedly had marijuana in his checked bag as Derik Dwayne Neely, 32, of Flint, Mich. He was arrested on suspicion of transporting marijuana for sale. Airport Police Sgt. Belinda Nettles said the two checked bags contained a total of 34.48 pounds of marijuana.

The passenger who allegedly had a gun in his carry-on bag was identified by airport police as Keith Dinicola, 55, of Tucson.]


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-- Abby Sewell

Photo: Los Angeles International Airport. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times