LAX passenger in body armor detained

Oct. 9, 2012 at 7:16 PM

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 9 (UPI) -- A man who wore body armor and carried weapons on a flight from Japan to Los Angeles faces a federal charge of transporting hazardous materials, officials said.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Special Agent Anne Walsh said in an affidavit the man was wearing "body armor (including a bulletproof vest, flame-retardant legging covers, and knee pads), underneath a trench coat" when he arrived Friday at Los Angeles International Airport.

Walsh said Customs and Border Protection Officer Kenny Frick initially noticed the body armor when the passenger, identified as Yongda Harris, 28, was subjected to a baggage examination.

"Officer Frick and CBP Officer Brandon Parker conducted a baggage examination of HARRIS's checked baggage, where several weapons and suspicious items were found, to include a pyrotechnic smoke grenade, three sap weapons (lead-filled, leather-coated billy clubs that Officers Frick and Parker understood to be prohibited under California law), a collapsible baton (also understood by Officers Frick and Parker to be prohibited under California law), a full face respirator, various knives, a hatchet, body bags, a tyvex biohazard suit, various masks, duct tape, batteries, oven mitts, cooking tongs, hand cuffs, leg irons, plastic flexi-cuffs, and a device to repel dogs."

Harris, a U.S. citizen of Chinese descent, had been living and working recently in Japan, and had planned to fly to his home in Boston, the Los Angeles Times reported.

He was charged with one count of transporting hazardous materials.

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