WARWICK, R.I. (AP) – A man whose child unknowingly had gun parts and ammunition hidden inside stuffed animals in his carry-on bag was involved in a custody dispute, officials at Rhode Island’s main airport said Wednesday.
Federal transportation agents found the items Monday when the man and his 4-year-old son went through security at T.F. Green Airport, authorities said. The man, who has not been identified, said he didn’t know the items were there.
The airport released a statement on Wednesday calling it a “domestic custody dispute.” Airport police, state police and the FBI are investigating.
The Transportation Security Administration said the man and his son were headed to Detroit when a TSA officer noticed the disassembled gun components “artfully concealed” inside three stuffed animals: a teddy bear, a rabbit and a Mickey Mouse.
One animal contained a .40-caliber gun, while another had a magazine loaded with two .40-caliber rounds and a firing pin. A third animal contained another part of a gun known as a slide.
The parts could have been assembled to make a usable firearm, authorities said.
Patti Goldstein, an airport spokeswoman, said the father was detained for three hours and let go. He continued traveling Tuesday.
The TSA and FBI declined to comment Wednesday. State police referred questions to airport police.
Airport Police Chief Leo Messier, who said Tuesday the incident appeared to be related to a domestic dispute, didn’t return a message Wednesday.
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