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Sammis Law Firm

Crime at St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport (PIE)

What happens if a passenger accidentally brings a firearm or other contraband to the airport in a carry-on bag without realizing that the firearm is in the bag?

If a passenger accidentally brings a firearm or other contraband to St. Pete / Clearwater International Airport (PIE) located at 14700 Terminal Blvd., then two investigations are triggered.

First, law enforcement officers with the Airport Unit of the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office will begin a criminal investigation to determine if an arrest should be made for carrying a concealed firearm into the secure area of the airport.

During that criminal investigation, the most common scenario involves a passenger being in possession of a firearm or other contraband discovered at the TSA security checkpoint by the scanner.

The officer will take possession of the firearm or contraband and question the passenger. The passenger often explains that they unintentionally left the firearm or contraband inside his carry-on bag but didn’t realize that when packing for the trip. The passenger might admit that it is irresponsible to make such a mistake but claim they had no intentions of bringing the firearm on board his flight.

The law enforcement officer will then decide whether to make an arrest for the misdemeanor offense of carrying a concealed firearm into the secure area of the airport. Even if no arrest is made on the spot, the officer might refer the case to the State Attorney’s Office for a formal filing decision.

Second, TSA will investigate the case to determine if any civil penalty should be imposed.

Attorney for Crimes at the PIE Airport in Pinellas County, FL

If you are accused of bringing a firearm to the St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport (PIE), then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to discuss the case.

Whether you were arrested at the airport or told that the matter was referred to the State Attorney’s Office, we can help.

We can present your side of the story to the State Attorney’s Office and defend you if any charges are filed. We can also help you resolve any civil penalty imposed by TSA.

Our attorneys also represent clients if their money is seized for forfeiture at the airport in St. Pete-Clearwater.

Call 813-250-0500 to discuss the case today.


This article was last updated on Thursday, May 26, 2022. 

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