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Utah Man Pleads Guilty to Bringing a Hazardous Material into the Secure Area of Austin International Airport

On March 3, 2016, Paul S. Perry pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court, Austin, TX, to a charge of entering an airport area in violation of security requirements. Perry entered the Austin Bergstrom International Airport in possession of property containing hazardous material, namely, a generator that contained a small quantity of gasoline, intending that it be transported via an air carrier from Austin to Utah. Perry cooperated during the investigation.  

This investigation was based upon a referral to OIG from FAA. In May 2014, Perry was informed by Southwest Airline personnel at Austin Bergstrom International Airport that he could not check a cardboard box, which contained a laptop and a gas powered generator. Gasoline is a hazardous material and is a prohibited item for checked baggage on commercial passenger flights. Perry proceeded to the Sky Cap outdoor curb-side check-in area. He again attempted to check the cardboard box as checked baggage after misrepresenting its contents to airport personnel. After being checked, TSA personnel discovered during the screening process that the cardboard box contained a gas generator. Further examination revealed the generator’s gas tank was approximately half full of fuel.

DOT-OIG conducted this investigation with assistance from FAA Security.