Soldier pleads not guilty to airport gun rap

October 20, 2008 10:54:36 AM PDT
A soldier has pleaded not guilty to a weapon charge following her arrest at a Long Island airport for allegedly carrying a loaded revolver in her checked luggage.Army Spc. Vonda Collier was arraigned Monday in New York state court on a charge of criminal possession of a weapon. She was ordered held on $5,000 bail or $25,000 bond.

The 38-year-old from San Antonio, Texas, was arrested Sunday at MacArthur Airport. She was scheduled to take a Southwest Airlines flight to Texas.

It was the second time in a week security officers reported finding a weapon in luggage at the airport in Ronkonkoma, about 50 miles east of Manhattan.

A Las Vegas man trying to board a flight was arrested Thursday after authorities said a pipe bomb, a knife, fireworks and suspicious electronics were found in his bags. The discovery led to a two-hour evacuation of about 500 passengers from the MacArthur terminal.

His lawyer has said Steven Nobles, 20, inadvertently left the items in his luggage and meant no harm. But a judge said Friday she was troubled by the number and variety of items found in his carryon and checked luggage, and she ordered him held without bail.

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