Convicted felon charged with trying to bring loaded gun on plane at Newark Airport

NEWARK, NJ — A Sandy Springs, Ga., man appeared in federal court on Dec. 7 to face weapons charges after allegedly trying to get a firearm through security at Newark Liberty International Airport, acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.

Desmond Herring, 48, is charged by complaint with one count of carrying a weapon on an aircraft and one count of possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon. He appeared by videoconference before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael A. Hammer in Newark federal court and was released on $100,000 unsecured bond, with home confinement and GPS monitoring.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court, on Nov. 29, Herring submitted a carry-on bag for inspection at Newark Liberty International Airport. During the X-ray screening of Herring’s luggage, a Transportation Security Administration agent identified ammunition and a suspected firearm, and contacted the Port Authority Police Department. Upon seeing that his bag had attracted additional attention, Herring left the security checkpoint area without his bag and walked to a departure gate for his flight to Atlanta, Ga.

Further investigation of Herring’s bag revealed that it contained a 9 mm pistol, 10 rounds of 9 mm ammunition loaded into a magazine and three boxes of ammunition that each contained 50 rounds of 9 mm ammunition. Herring was prohibited from possessing a firearm due to a 2010 federal conviction for conspiracy to distribute controlled substances.

Both charges in the complaint carry a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison.

The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is considered innocent unless and until proved guilty.