Feds Say Felon Tried to Board Plane With AR-15, Fake Badge

Multiple weapons, including taser, were found in man's luggage at Newark airport
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 28, 2023 6:00 PM CST
Feds Say Felon Tried to Board Plane With AR-15, Fake Badge
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/kenlh)

A New Jersey man banned from owning weapons tried to bring several guns and fake US Marshal credentials on a flight to Florida at the end of last year, federal prosecutors say. Seretse Clouden, 42, faces multiple charges stemming from his attempt to board a flight from Newark Liberty International Airport to Fort Lauderdale on Dec. 30, CBS reports. In a statement, the US Attorney's office in New Jersey said that during routine screening of checked luggage, TSA agents found "two .40 caliber Glock magazines, each containing 15 rounds of .40 caliber ammunition and a ballistic vest carrier that displayed the words 'Deputy Marshal'" in a bag belonging to Clouden.

When they checked Clouden's other luggage, agents found an "ASP expandable baton, a spring loaded knife, a taser, a .40 caliber Glock 22 handgun, a .308 caliber DPMS Panther Arms rifle, and one 5.56 caliber AR-15 rifle, which meets the definition of a machine gun," the statement said. According to a criminal complaint filed Feb. 9. agents also found fake United States Marshal with Clouden's name and photo, along with a badge. The United States Marshals Service confirmed that Clouden wasn't employed by the service and never had been. Agents went to the gate Clouden's flight was due to depart from and he admitted that he didn't have law enforcement credentials or firearms ID cards, NBC reports.

Clouden, who pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a weapon in 2016, faces charges including unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition by a convicted felon and fraudulent possession of an identification document. "It’s absolutely not acceptable for firearms to be anywhere near checkpoints," TSA spokesperson R. Carter Langston said, per the New York Daily News. "There is a legally permissible way to bring firearms in checked baggage, but you have to be legally able to carry a firearm in your jurisdiction, declare it with the airline, and pack it properly in a hard-sided and locked case." (More airport security stories.)

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