A 28 year old man arriving on a flight from Japan was arrested by federal officials at Los Angeles International Airport after he was found wearing body armor and traveling with a smoke grenade, gas mask, leg irons, and other weapons in his luggage. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials reveal Yongda Huang Harris was arrested last Friday while on his way to Boston, and has been charged with transporting hazardous materials. While thankfully there were no incidents of violence, it certainly raises questions about how he got on the airplane in Japan in the first place.
As a U.S. citizen with permanent residence in Boston, Harris said he has been living and working in Japan recently. Investigators are still looking into why he was carrying the items, but he drew the suspicion of customs officers at the Los Angeles airport after he was found to be wearing a bulletproof vest, flame-retardant legging covers, and knee pads underneath a long trench coat. Harris admitted that he was carrying a knife in his checked luggage, and agents gave him the opportunity to declare any other items before searching his bags.
In addition to the smoke grenade, which officials say is prohibited from transportation on a passenger aircraft and was more than enough to fill an airplane cabin with smoke, Harris’ luggage contained body bags, a hatchet, several knives, collapsible baton, biohazard suit, full-face respirator, and billy clubs. The transporting of hazardous materials charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison. Harris boarded the plane at Kansai International Airport in Osaka, Japan, and police say they are working with counterparts in Tokyo to continue the investigation.[via AFP]