Aviation & Space Law

Queried at LAX re Legal Body Armor, Arrested Passenger Is Denied Bail Based on Computer Contents

The hatchet in a checked bag for an airline passenger traveling through Los Angeles from Japan last week, en route to Boston, was legal, according to authorities. Ditto the gas mask, biohazard suit, handcuffs, leg irons and a number of other items obviously likely to catch a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer’s attention that also reportedly were found in luggage for Yongda Huang Harris.

It likewise appears that the bulletproof vest, flameproof pants and kneepads the 28-year-old was wearing as traveling attire under a trench coat, and which initially led to his questioning by the feds at the Los Angeles airport, didn’t violate any laws either, the Daily Mail reports.

But a single smoke grenade found in his luggage after Harris was questioned at LAX was prohibited, the newspaper says. And now Harris is being held without bail, after prosecutors told a federal magistrate in Los Angeles that worrisome material related to sexual violence against females and “man trapping” was found on his computer. They also told U.S. Magistrate Paul Abrams during a Friday hearing that they believe the U.S. citizen is a flight risk and a danger to society, the Associated Press reports.

If convicted in the smoke grenade case, the naturalized U.S. citizen, who formerly lived in Boston but now resides in Japan, could get as much as five years.

Attorney Steven Seiden represents Harris. The lawyer said through a spokesman that Harris was traveling to Boston to visit his mother, that he has no prior criminal history and that most of the items he brought with him on the trip were legal, an earlier Boston Globe article reports.

Additional coverage:

Conde Nast Daily Traveler: “Man Arrested at LAX Goes to Court, International Luggage and Weapons Rules Go Under Microscope”

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