Local News

Austin Airport Baggage Handler Charged With Stealing Firearms

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Twenty-five-year-old Ja’Quan Johnson is facing time in federal prison after he stole seven firearms from checked baggage at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. Police began investigating the situation once a man reported that his handgun was missing from his checked bag after he flew out of the Austin airport. KVUE says that the FBI figured out that Johnson took the guns between the dates of November 29, 2016 and February 2, 2017. On Wednesday, Johnson surrendered to the FBI.

The Statesman adds that two more people were arrested after the weapons were found during a warranted search. FBI agents discovered marijuana (which Johnson had traded some of the weapons for) that lead to the arrests of Matthew Bartlett, 21, and Catronn Hewitt, 36, for possession of the drug.

As a contract employee with the airport, Johnson previously passed a background check, but now he could spend up to 20 years in prison for the stolen weapons. After making his court appearance on Wednesday, The Statesman says he “was released on a personal recognizance bond.” KVUE says that if anyone else is missing a weapon after traveling through the Austin airport, contact Detective Westling at 512-530-7540. The investigation is ongoing.