New Jersey man tried to board airplane with numerous firearms, DOJ says

A TSA checkpoint.
(Image credit: Jeff Greenberg/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

A New Jersey man was arrested last year for trying to board a plane with an armory's worth of weapons in his luggage, the Justice Department said Monday.

In a press release, the DOJ said that Seretse Clouden, 42, of Wilmington, New Jersey, was arrested on Dec. 30 at Newark Liberty International Airport. During a routine screening of Clouden's checked luggage, the DOJ said, TSA officers discovered "two .40 caliber Glock magazines, each containing 15 rounds of .40 caliber ammunition."

Upon further inspection of his additional luggage, Clouden was found to be transporting "an ASP expandable baton, a spring-loaded knife, a taser, a .40 caliber Glock 22 handgun, a .308 caliber DPMS Panther Arms rifle, and one 5.56 caliber AR-15 rifle," the DOJ said.

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Clouden also had in his possession a vest with the words "U.S. Marshal" and a Marshal's badge and credentials with his picture. The DOJ's official criminal complaint noted that "the United States Marshal Service confirmed that Clouden is not, and was not, employed [as a Marshal]," and that the materials were fake.

Clouden was charged with unlawful possession of firearms by a felon, as well as fraudulent possession of an ID document, the DOJ said. These charges together could carry a maximum prison sentence of 25 years.

This is not Clouden's first brush with the law, NBC News reports, as he previously pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a weapon in 2016.

News of Clouden's arrest followed the TSA's disclosure that it intercepted more firearms in 2022 than ever before; 6,542 guns were discovered by airport security last year, an average of 18 per day.

"It's absolutely not acceptable for firearms to be anywhere near checkpoints," TSA spokesman R. Carter Langston said in a statement.

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