Salem Ore man arrested for having gun at Palm Springs airport www.privateofficer.com
PALM SPRINGS CA April 11 2012— A Salem, Ore. man was headed up north Tuesday when he was arrested at Palm Springs International Airport after Transportation Security Administration officers found a loaded gun in his briefcase, police said. Andrew Sandowski, 71, told officials he thought he had left the gun in the trunk of his car, TSA spokesman Nico Melendez wrote in an email.
Sandowski carried a .380-caliber Beretta handgun and 12 rounds of ammunition, Melendez wrote.
Palm Springs police Sgt. Mike Kovaleff said Sandowski is the registered owner, but he did not know if the gun was purchased in Oregon or in California.
If Sandowski bought it in Oregon, he could have legally carried it on his previous flight to the desert as long as he declared it ahead of time, the sergeant said.
But “he may have driven down here,” Kovaleff said.
The sergeant didn’t know why Sandowski was in the Coachella Valley, but said it appeared he was only flying north for a few days before returning to the desert.
Melendez posted a photo of the gun to Twitter and wrote that the man had a ticket for Alaska Airlines Flight 591 to Portland, which was scheduled to depart at 12:20 p.m.
The Alaska Airlines website said the flight took off at 12:25 p.m. and landed early in Portland.; the Palm Springs airport website listed a 12:40 p.m. takeoff time.
“The issue was addressed immediately, and there was no impact whatsoever on all the flight activity that was scheduled,” said Tom Nolan, executive director of the Palm Springs airport.
Police arrested the man on suspicion of having a firearm in an airport sterile area.
Handguns taken on commercial aircraft have to be declared to the airline, unloaded and stored in a locked carrying case placed in checked luggage, Melendez wrote.
Sandowski is being held at the Larry D. Smith Correctional Facility in Banning, where he is being held in lieu of $5,000 bail, according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.
He is scheduled to appear in Riverside County Superior Court Thursday.