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Man Pleads Guilty to Attempting to Carry Loaded Gun onto Plane

This news story was published on December 14, 2012.
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SACRAMENTO, CA—Harold E. Waller, 45, of Circle, Montana, pleaded guilty today to one count of attempting to board an aircraft with a concealed, dangerous weapon, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Jean M. Hobler is prosecuting the case.

According to court documents, Waller drove from Montana to Sacramento in March 2012. On March 22, 2012, Waller purchased a one-way ticket to Alaska at the U.S. Airways counter for that date. Waller proceeded to the security checkpoint, placed three bags on the table near the X-ray belt, and waited his turn to proceed through individual screening. Waller removed his jacket, revealing a shoulder holster containing a gun. Shortly thereafter, a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) employee screening the bags identified a gun in the first bag to go through the X-ray device. At approximately the same time, a TSA supervisor confronted Waller, who acknowledged the bag with the gun was his and that he had additional guns in the bag. The TSA supervisor asked Waller to put his jacket on and accompany him to the ticket counter. Waller did so, and they were met there by Sacramento Sheriff’s deputies.

A search of Waller and his bags demonstrated that each of the three bags contained a loaded gun. The gun in the shoulder holster, a Smith & Wesson 9 mm, model 6906 handgun, was also loaded. Significant amounts of ammunition were found in his carry-on bags, loose and in clips for reloading. Waller admitted he knew he had the weapons, he knew they were loaded, and he knew he was not supposed to transport them through the checkpoint or have them on the plane.

Waller is scheduled to be sentenced by United States District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller on December 19, 2012, at 9:00 a.m. He faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.

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