crime

U.S. woman arrested over disposal of 100 live bullets at Haneda airport

53 Comments
By Behrouz MEHRI

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53 Comments
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Cripes, talk about a "lack" of security on the US end. Heads should be rolling from where ever she departed from. Folks talk about how invasive the TSA checks can be, and then this?

The arrest comes after a former Major League Baseball player was arrested in 2016 on Okinawa for allegedly carrying a single bullet.

Make it sound like this happened yesterday. Two totally different examples, and you forget to mention about the JAPANESE tourists who tried to take ammo found in Okinawa on a plane as well.

Selective memory, and out once again to paint the gaijin as the problem.

16 ( +24 / -8 )

I have as much sympathy for Americans who carry guns or ammo into other countries as I do for marijuana smokers in Amsterdam who forget marijuana in their bags when they leave the country.

That is to say: none.

If you're traveling over borders, you are very stupid if you don't know exactly what's in your bag, and whether or not it's legal where you are going. Traveling 101.

15 ( +21 / -6 )

Great job by the TSA, allowing this woman to board a flight with live shells! What I don't understand is that she disposed of the bullets, someone found them, then they quickly searched their surveillance cameras and found her still at the airport? Sounds a little fishy, or just bad luck for the woman.

13 ( +16 / -3 )

Time to ban bags on flights from the US.

9 ( +17 / -8 )

*uhhh, it's not illegal to carry firearms or bullets in checked luggage from the USA. so the TSA did nothing wrong here.*

Yet it sounds like this was her carry on luggage. If she was in transit he checked luggage more than likely would have been checked through as well if she did not have to go through customs.

Point is the article is lacking in proper and full information about the situation.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Hence the irrelevancy of the tsa

6 ( +10 / -4 )

nakanoguy, you are incorrect though, the TSA messed up.

While you can carry in CHECKED Luggage, the woman had it on her CARRY on luggage.

SInce she was in transit to another flight, she would not have had access to her checked luggage. 

100x .22 bullets are not light, and should of shown up on any xray.

As to how they caught her, anyone who has ever been on an international transit through Narita or Haneda knows that there can be 1.5-6 hours or more between flights, she appeared to have a long transit, leaving plenty of time for Haneda cleaning staff (award winning cleaning staff btw, the staff at Haneda go through and clean the place with toothbrushes, no joke) to discover the bullets, contact airport security, them to review video and catch the woman.   After deplaning at Haneda and in transit she would of had to go through Japanese security again, she disposed the bullets before the transit security screening.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Well it's just plain stupid if security one end lets you get on a flight with articles they know are illegal at the destination, without saying anything to you about it. I can understand this happening with medicines but not firearms. As for the ammo being found and her arrested quickly within the airport, good job by security, I flew a couple of weeks ago from Narita and regularly saw security officials checking bins.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

The arrest comes after a former Major League Baseball player was arrested in 2016 on Okinawa for allegedly carrying a single bullet.

Not even relevant to this story!

5 ( +6 / -1 )

They are always watching you!

4 ( +6 / -2 )

nakanoguy01Today 09:27 am JST

uhhh, it's not illegal to carry firearms or bullets in checked luggage from the USA. so the TSA did nothing wrong here.

Even for an international destination ?!!

4 ( +6 / -2 )

How could someone pack their bag and forget to take out a crucial thing like bullets? Not one or 2 or 3, 100 bullets. And even worse, bring them to a country with a super strict gun laws. It makes as much sense as me getting caught in Thailand with 3 kilos of coke and 1lb of "good" grass and saying "I forgot them in my bag!" No sympathy for the gun lovers.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

TSA have often failed tests and scans.. not surprising at all.

Instead of disposing, she should have explained it to security officials and even though what she did was illegal, she would probably have better chance to even enjoy the rest of vacation ( in case of an understanding official) ,what she did was simply dumb.. and will spend couple weeks here in cell at best or few month /years...

No compassion though, at 60 you really should be old enough to know better.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

OK, she was in transit, and she had 100x .22 bullets in her bag. That is some heavy weight.

She tells the cops that they were for her pistol back home in the US.

Yup, something does not quite add up. Fuzzy logic's Yak theory sounds plausible. She never expected to get picked up so rapidly. The wrong cleaners must have come round too soon.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

What a complete and utter failure of security at every lvl. She was foiled by a garbage collector.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

@Buffalo, oh come on, she’s not that old!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

SInce she was in transit to another flight, she would not have had access to her checked luggage. 

If you're transiting from an international to a domestic flight you have access to your checked luggage, as you have to clear customs before any domestic transfer.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

How on earth did she get past airport security in the US with 100 bullets? Don't they x-rays bags there? Apppalling level of security.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

My favorite amo in the plane story is the yak who bought a live grenade back from the Philippines. Was playing with it in the plane s toilet when he pulled the pin. Being drunk he couldn't put the pin back in so dropped the grenade down the bowl. It blew the back of the plane off as it was coming in to land.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

How on Earth did security not pick up over 100 live bullets? They could have quite easily been triggered in a garbage truck being compacted against other trash, possibly injuring someone.

She says it was accidental, but she's lucky not to be charged with terrorism TBH

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Her husband has certainly kept a low profile in that article!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Here's what a pack of 100 rounds of .22 ammo look like, apparently

http://i.imgur.com/eq2OOAM.jpg

2 ( +2 / -0 )

If you keep ammo safely locked away instead of lying around in a bag you will never have this problem!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Why on earth would she bring bullets to Japan?

Suppose she was not aware that she has them on her carry on bag....... - but then the weight of 100 bullets of a 22 caliber is pretty noticeable and difficult to ignore. I would understand if it was just one bullet found - that's a mistake that anyone can make.

She could have just left them back in the States?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I'd like to know what airport she departed from? I was allowed a corkscrew knife combo in my carry on bag leaving the US. Many men's personal grooming kits have them as standard contents. It was removed from me at Haneda Airport on my departing flight.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Come on, guys! Wise up.

The trash can was the drop off point for the ammo. It was supposed to be picked up by a Yak or Chimp, but a zealous cleaner got to it first.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Why is the right side of Mona's fictional conversation cut off?

mmwkdwToday  03:53 pm JST

"Why was she allowed to board an international flight with a gun and ammo ?"

She wasn't. She only had the bullets with her, not the gun.

And this story only only makes sense if the bullets were in her carry-on bag, but as Yubaru mentioned, that's not included in the article.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The cleaning lady needs to be promoted to head of security.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Nothing in the article describes a cleaning lady seeing the suspect dump the ammunition. The bullets were found during routine emptying and reported. CCTV was then scrutinised to see who put the bullets into the bin.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

But anyone with common sense knows that Japan has very strict gun laws.

Maybe so, but how many people have common sense then? I would wager half of the people in American couldn't point out Japan on a world map. And how many people know anything about a country they are only transiting through?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Amazing the Japanese police were able to identify her using security cameras. Most likely facial recognition software was used to perform this task.

Less amazingly, people can be identified by their shoes, clothing, hairstyle, eyewear, and the bags they carry. It takes the work out of it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Strangerland

If you're traveling over borders, you are very stupid if you don't know exactly what's in your bag, and whether or not it's legal where you are going. Traveling 101.

I agree. It shocks me how people make this sort of mistake.

I have family friends that got stopped in Germany (coming form US) for having a bullet in their bag.

The bag belonged to their daughter, who is a police officer. Check the bag before you leave, duh!

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Lock her azz the hell up, probably trying to sneak supply the yaks!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

People don't realise that it's the bullet that's lethal and not the gun per say. Something pointy in your jostled and thrown around suitcase could easily set off one bullet.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Friend of mine got "caught " with a tiny (you could have hidden it under your fingernail) amount of Thai dope in corner of his jeans pocket; the guard obviously knew where to look.

After a long, hard stare, the bloke told him to get the heck out of the airport ( Fukuoka) and go home.

I always remember that story when I hear about Japanese strictness and inflexibility....

0 ( +1 / -1 )

A woman in her 60s and husband arrive at Haneda with 100 live bullets in a carry-on....

Oh, old people.

Wife: Did you get rid of them bullets like I asked?

Husband: I did, I did. Let's just go.

Wife: Geez-louise, my bag feels so darn heavy.

Husband: You're just gettin old.

Wife: You hear that? That jingle-jangle sound?

Husband: It's your brain rattlin around up there.

Wife: Why didn't you let me pack my own bag?

Husband: Cuz you take too long. Now you go ahead and carry

it through security. Go on ahead. I'm right behind ya.

Wife: Did I bring my reading glasses? Let me check...

Husband: We ain't got time! We'll miss our flight!

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Lostrune2, fuzzy shot there! Is that .22 airgun pellets or .22 pistol cartridges? Surprisingly compact. Just about possible to genuinely forget a packet like that...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Lostrune2, fuzzy shot there! Is that .22 airgun pellets or .22 pistol cartridges? Surprisingly compact. Just about possible to genuinely forget a packet like that...

http://i.imgur.com/eq2OOAM.jpg

This is probably it:

https://www.remington.com/ammunition/rimfire/22-thunderbolt

50 per box, so 2 boxes = 100

Though it's for a rifle, not a pistol

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@FDS, .22 caliber rim fire ammo is made a .22 caliber rifle or pistol. its the same, and as for dumping live ammo, that is highly irresponsible, as I my memory serves my right most waste in Japan is incinerated, god know what could have happened there, and how did she manage to get them through security checks?, I am a bit sceptical over the cleaner lady who spotted her, she must have been acting very suspiciously, just think of how many hundreds/thousends of people put rubbish in a bin in the airport, these two boxes, each are about the size of a packet of ten cigarettes, some one puts there hand into a hand bag takes two small packets out and puts them into a bin, and this cleaner spots this??? are the bin liners clear? and has the cleaner ever spotted a packet of .22 bullets? would she even know what they looked like? I think not, she has eagle eyes!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

100 bullets are not all that heavy or bulky. Not that much different from having an extra laptop battery in your carry on. Possible to forget about.

I feel sorry for her. Security in the US completely failed here. And if she just discovered the bullets while here on transit, imagine the panic she must have felt. If she goes up to airport security and tells them she has 100 bullets, they would probably arrest her. So maybe she thought tossing them was the best solution. Who would have expected that they would have been discovered in the trash and that she would have been ID'd before she even caught her connecting flight? That's rather impressive.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I've been reading a lot of comments making excuses for this lady. That .22 ammo boxes are "so small" and it would be easy to leave one in your bag. But anyone with common sense knows that Japan has very strict gun laws. If she used the bag in the past to carry guns/ammo you think she'd have triple checked to make sure no loose ammunition was rolling around her bag before leaving for Japan.

I'd also like to think the TSA would have caught it before she left. But then I remember we're talking about the TSA, one of the most incompetent orginizations in the US with a 95% failure rate.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Two years ago in security check at Heathrow I was behind a US woman. She was pulled up for having liquids in her hand baggage. She had lots of miniatures, I mean lots! A bagfull practically. But she was in transit from the US. So she had got through the check in the US. I spoke with the attendant. How can that happen? It happens a lot.... they don't check properly. !!!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Throw the book at her.

Flying on a commercial flight with improperly stowed ammo is illegal - even in the USA. You cannot just throw a firearm into any suitcase. There are requirements.

https://www.tsa.gov/news/releases/2016/02/09/passengers-can-bring-firearms-planes-if-properly-packed-and-declared - hard-sided firearm case with a lock.

I will admit to losing a multi-tool/knife in my backpack and after searching it for about 10 minutes before heading to the airport, decided it wasn't in there, until the airport scanners found it. I've never flown with a firearm. It is easier to just rent one at the destination for hunting trips.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Well it's just plain stupid if security one end lets you get on a flight with articles they know are illegal at the destination,

I remember getting searched when travelling to the U.S. from Japan for baby food (in glass jars) given to us on the plane. The baby food wasn't illegal per se, but when didn't notify TSA, they had to tear through our bags and listen to them suspiciously question what the bottles contained, apple sauce written in katakana (アップルソース). Kind of made me laugh when the TSA guy got fidgety and told me to back off when pointing out it said apple sauce. How did I get it on to the plane? The plane gave it to me in flight....

Yea, me the big terrorist with the wife a two year old, and a suspicious bottle of . . . apple sauce.

I don't think this woman is so different. It sounds like a simple mistake being publicized to make an example for others. The coppers should have just overlooked it and went on their way. Not like she was smuggling drugs or firearms and got scared at the last minute.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

"100x .22 bullets are not light, and should of shown up on any xray."

Yes they should have shown up. Light is a relative term... Approximately 137 .22lr bullets weighs 1 lb. I wish you luck picking up your mobile phone, it must be a struggle for you. If by "not light" you mean "dense", then my apologies.

TSA should have caught this, but these are the same type of "jobs" created by the last two administrations. I.E. minimum wage or just above. You need about the same qualifications to work as a TSA screener as you would need to be a McDonalds cashier. Although, I think Mickey D's wants you to be more customer friendly.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Why was she allowed to board an international flight with a gun and ammo ?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I'm not really all that impressed with the Japanese police ... they just looked for anyone "suspicious" on the tapes between the find and the prior cleaning. "White lady" = suspicious.

Great photo lostrune2!

I've transited NRT in under 15 minutes - Arrived at Gate 23. Forced to have our stuff scanned 500m away, then ran back for Gate 25. Seems that 30% of our flight was doing the same thing, so they held the plane. Our 1st flight was 2 hrs late leaving BKK.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

how do they know its for a .22 caliber pistol? as far as I know there is no specific .22 ammo made specifically for a pistol.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

next time flush it down the toilet. as far as i know (fingers crossed) there are no hidden cameras in the public toilets...

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

She should've just kept the bullets and claimed they were for religious purposes and part of her tenets of said religion. Sikhs can carry short swords because of the same reason.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I believe the woman probably made an honest mistake however dumping live ammunition in a trash bin is not very responsible. The article leaves out the important fact as to whether or not the bullets were in carry on or checked bags. During transit she has access to checked bags and she could have realized/remembered she had the bullets in there or found them while trying to get something out of her baggage. Regardless I still feel TSA is security theater and one reason I disdain domestic travel within the U.S.

Amazing the Japanese police were able to identify her using security cameras. Most likely facial recognition software was used to perform this task.

Best thing to do is to charge her, deport her, and let that be the end of it.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

As long as its not in carry on, secured container in checked luggage, and must be declared at check-in. She probably forgot about the ammo and had no idea about Japans strict firearms laws.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

uhhh, it's not illegal to carry firearms or bullets in checked luggage from the USA. so the TSA did nothing wrong here.

You may transport unloaded firearms in a locked hard-sided container as checked baggage only. Declare the firearm and/or ammunition to the airline when checking your bag at the ticket counter. The container must completely secure the firearm from being accessed

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

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