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AWOL Fort Campbell soldier posed as officer to carry gun on flight

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 4/9/2021 Nora Hogan For Dailymail.com
a man wearing a military uniform: MailOnline logo © Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo

A Fort Campbell soldier went AWOL and carried a handgun onto a flight from Chicago to Nashville earlier this year, claiming he worked for the Defense Department and was transporting evidence for a court case.

Jaidan Raine Higueros was charged in a criminal complaint filed Monday with carrying a weapon or explosive on an aircraft and false personation, officer or employee of the United States.

A Federal Air Marshal aboard the February 15 flight noticed Higueros was 'acting suspiciously' and determined he 'was carrying a firearm inside a duffle bag in the passenger compartment of the aircraft' according to WKRN

Higueros first flew from Nashville International Airport to Chicago O'Hare Airport to on February 11, carrying a Glock 43 9mm pistol in his checked luggage without incident.

The soldier had a flight scheduled back to Nashville on February 15 but missed it, and attempted to get on the next United Airlines flight from Chicago.

When a customer service supervisor informed him the check-in process for his firearm would take too long and that he would miss the flight, Higueros showed his military identification card and claimed he was a law enforcement officer who needed to get the gun back to Nashville for a court case.

a man wearing a military uniform: A commander at Fort Campbell confirmed that Higueros was AWOL and not traveling under any official capacity © Provided by Daily Mail A commander at Fort Campbell confirmed that Higueros was AWOL and not traveling under any official capacity a man wearing a uniform: Higueros carried a Glock 43 9mm pistol in his baggage while flying from Chicago to Nashville © Provided by Daily Mail Higueros carried a Glock 43 9mm pistol in his baggage while flying from Chicago to Nashville

When Higueros boarded the aircraft, he informed the pilot that he was carrying a firearm and assured him there was 'no reason for concern.'

A TSA Air Marshal on the flight was told Higueros worked in law enforcement, but witnessed him 'enter the aircraft lavatory with a duffel bag' after he had been acting suspiciously. 

Higueros gave the marshal consent to search his bag, which is how he found the unloaded pistol, a magazine with six rounds of ammunition, and one empty magazine. 

When the soldier was unable to provide credentials to prove he was a law enforcement officer, he was handcuffed and detained for the rest of the flight until it landed in Nashville and he was taken into custody. 

a large passenger jet flying through a cloudy blue sky: Higueros was able to bypass security and was not caught until an air marshal aboard a United Airlines flight from Chicago to Nashville noticed he was acting suspiciously (File photo) © Provided by Daily Mail Higueros was able to bypass security and was not caught until an air marshal aboard a United Airlines flight from Chicago to Nashville noticed he was acting suspiciously (File photo)

Higueros lated confessed that he was traveling for personal reasons and lied because he wanted 'to get home' and 'had no malicious intent for his actions.' 

A commander at Fort Campbell confirmed that Higueros was not traveling under any official capacity and had left a 250-mile radius around the fort without approved permission. 

Higueros was identified as a Private Second Class in the U.S. Army, assigned to the 561st Military Police Company at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

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