Tuesday, September 16, 2003

New Yorker pleads guilty
to carrying knife on plane

The man tries to bring a hidden
blade aboard a flight to Hawaii

NEWARK, N.J. >> A New York businessman pleaded guilty yesterday to bringing a concealed dangerous weapon onto an airliner, admitting that he attempted to smuggle a ceramic knife aboard a flight from Newark Liberty International Airport to Honolulu.

Peter Williams said that he knew that the knife, hidden in a wooden case, was in his carry-on luggage as he went through passenger screening Feb. 9.

The case was constructed to look like a ruler, according to a complaint filed Feb. 21 by a police officer of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, who was acting as a special deputy U.S. marshal.

The screener at an X-ray machine also found a second knife, which appeared to be made of plastic, the complaint said. Each blade was about 4 inches long, it said.

A search of Williams revealed two coils of metallic wire. A search of his home found two rifles, ammunition and items that could be used to build a bomb, the complaint said.

Williams was arrested, and a multiweek FBI investigation "revealed no terrorist intentions or connections," the U.S. attorney's office said. He was freed on $1 million bail.

Williams, 59, faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, although the actual penalties would be far less under federal guidelines. He is to be sentenced Dec. 22 by U.S. District Judge John Lifland.


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