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Guns, ammunition taken from police officer

Associated Press

AUSTIN - An Austin Community College police officer is jailed after airport security workers confiscated a half-dozen guns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.

Maisule Aji Kurugu was arrested last month after a scan of his checked baggage as he was flying from Austin to Memphis, Tenn., federal court documents show.

Kurugu, 42, of Austin, remained in federal custody Sunday at a private detention center in Taylor in lieu of bail.

According to an affidavit, Transportation Security Administration screeners failed to detect the weapons before the flight left Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, although they had found a handgun in another of the man's bags. Also in the bags were 612 rounds of ammunition.

TSA screeners found a .38-caliber handgun in one of three bags that Kurugu tried to check before the Nov. 17 flight, the affidavit stated.

When Kurugu was told he needed permission to take the gun on the plane, he gave the weapon to a cousin and boarded the plane for Memphis, the first leg of a trip to his native Nigeria, according to the affidavit. It stated that "TSA discovered at least five images of handguns" in another bag after the Northwest Airlines plane had departed.

Kurugu was arrested in Memphis and has been charged with knowingly delivering a firearm to an airline for transport without giving written notice.

"Everyone involved in the incident from a TSA standpoint did things procedurally correct," said Doug Johnson, an Austin spokesman for the federal agency.

He said it is illegal for someone to transport firearms and ammunition on a plane without notifying the airline.

Kurugu told investigators that the weapons were for friends in Nigeria. His bag contained two .22-caliber pistols, three .22-caliber long rifles, a .32-caliber pistol, one ballistic vest, five folding knives and six cans of pepper spray, the affidavit stated.
 
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