Police: Airline pilot had loaded gun in suitcase at Florida airport

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A jet with Sun Country Airlines taxis near airliners with Northwest. (Postmedia file photo)


FORT MYERS, Fla. — Authorities say an airline pilot was arrested at a Florida airport after a loaded gun was found in his carry-on suitcase.

The News-Press reports Brian Andrew Machtemes of Minnetonka, Minnesota, was arrested Friday at Southwest Florida International Airport.

A Lee County Port Authority arrest report says the 54-year-old Sun Country Airlines pilot was arrested when a Transportation Security Administration agent found a loaded pistol in his suitcase.

The report says Machtemes has a permit to carry the gun in Minnesota, but that it wasn’t valid in Florida.

The TSA allows unloaded firearms in locked containers only as checked baggage.

Airline spokeswoman Kirsten Wenker confirmed Machtemes is a pilot but declined further comment, citing privacy reasons.

Machtemes was released on $5,000 bond. Jail records didn’t show whether he had an attorney.

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