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Convicted Felon Faces Up To 15 Years in Jail After Attempting to Smuggle Loaded Firearm and 204 Bullets Onto Aircraft By Wrapping Them in Silver Foil

Convicted Felon Faces Up To 15 Years in Jail After Attempting to Smuggle Loaded Firearm and 204 Bullets Onto Aircraft By Wrapping Them in Silver Foil

a suitcase with foil and a pen

A convicted felon faces the threat of spending up to 15 years in jail after he was caught trying to smuggle three handguns and 204 bullets in his checked luggage on a flight from Pittsburgh International Airport to Puerto Rico last month.

Luis Rojas Cay, 26, had attempted to disguise the illicit firearms and ammunition by wrapping them in multiple layers of foil-backed tape before placing them in a metal briefcase which was lined with sheets of metal in an attempt to confuse the airport x-ray machines.

As a convicted felon, Cay is prohibited under federal law from possessing a firearm or ammunition so he wouldn’t have been allowed to carry the firearms even if he had packed them correctly in accordance with TSA rules.

The firearms included a loaded 9mm semiautomatic handgun, an unloaded 9mm semiautomatic handgun, and an unloaded 40 SW caliber semiautomatic handgun. There were also approximately 204 rounds of ammunition hidden in the briefcase, which had been packed in a checked suitcase.

“Luis Rojas Cay allegedly tried to travel on a commercial airline with multiple firearms—one of which was loaded—hidden in his luggage,” commented U.S. Attorney Olshan after a federal Grand Jury returned indicted Cay on firearms offenses.

“As a convicted felon, Rojas Cay should not be in possession of firearms anywhere, let alone in his bag at 35,000 feet,” Olshan continued.

If convicted, Cay faces a maximum sentence of 15 years imprisonment plus a fine of up to $250,000.

Matt’s take

It’s not uncommon to hear that the TSA has found a firearm on a passenger passing through one of its airport checkpoints. In fact, last year, the TSA stopped a record 6,737 from being taken on flights – the most firearms the TSA has ever intercepted in a single year since its inception.

Interestingly, though, the vast majority of passengers found with firearms in their possession will avoid criminal prosecution and will usually escape with just a civil penalty.

The TSA has the power to fine passengers between $3,000 and $10,700 for attempting to bring a loaded firearm through an airport security checkpoint. Repeat offenders face a potential maximum civil penalty of $14,950 plus criminal referral.

In addition, passengers with TSA PreCheck will also have this major travel perk rescinded for at least five years.

Despite the TSA’s apparent success in finding firearms and ammunition, the security process clearly isn’t foolproof. A slew of American travellers are currently facing the threat of lengthy prison sentences in the Turks & Caicos after ammunition was found in their hand baggage as they went to leave the British Overseas Territory.

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