Man arrested after smoke grenade found in luggage at LA airport
LOS ANGELES (CNN) — A federal court session for a man who tried to enter the United States allegedly with a veritable potpourri of weaponry and related paraphernalia was delayed Tuesday, leaving unanswered until a rescheduled hearing Friday questions about the man, his baggage and his intentions.
Yongda Huang Harris, a U.S. citizen of Chinese decent, was detained in the international arrivals area of Los Angeles International Airport last Friday, and charged with one count of transporting hazardous materials. He faces a series of court dates, beginning with Friday’s detention hearing. He won’t enter a plea until October 29.
Authorities were alerted at the airport about a man didn’t look like the typical airline passenger. He stood out in his trench coach with a bulletproof vest, flame retardant pants and knee pads underneath.
But it is what authorities said they found when they inspected the man’s luggage that landed him in jail.
A smoke grenade, knives, a hatchet, three billy clubs, a respirator and body bags were among the items in his checked bags.
Harris’ lawyer, Steve Seiden, declined CNN’s request for comment Tuesday.
Harris, 28, boarded a plane in Kansai, Japan, on Friday and made a stop in Inchon, Korea, before flying to the United States, according to a federal affidavit.
Customs and Border Protection officers at LAX decided to pull Harris for secondary inspection.
According to the affidavit, Harris was asked by customs enforcement officers if he wanted to amend his customs declaration form. Harris said he had a knife but didn’t mention any other items, the court document states.
The affidavit said that Harris’ suitcases contained:
- A pyrotechnic smoke grenade capable of covering an area of 40,000 cubic feet with smoke
- Three lead-filled, leather-coated billy clubs
- A collapsible baton
- A full-face respirator
- Various knives and a hatchet
- Body bags
- A Tyvex biohazard suit and various masks
- Duct tape and batteries
- Oven mitts and cooking tongs
- Hand cuffs, leg irons, and plastic flexi-cuffs
- A device to repel dogs
Harris lives and works in Japan but has a permanent home in Boston, officials said.
The charge against him could bring up to five years in prison upon conviction.
This article was provided by the CNN Wire. TM & © 2012 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.