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February 18, 2002
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U.S Citizen Arrested After Pistol Found in Luggage After Flight to Romania

Associated Press

TIMISOARA, Romania (AP) - A U.S. citizen was arrested in Romania Sunday on suspicion of illegal weapons possession and smuggling after authorities found a pistol in his luggage, officials said.

Sorin Dragoi, 32, of Troy, Mich., was detained Saturday after a 5.6 mm Baretta was discovered in his checked bags during by an X-ray check at the airport in the western Romanian city of Timisoara, police said.

Authorities said the gun was hidden in green foam in the false bottom of a jewelry box in Dragoi's checked bags. He arrived on the Romanian airline Tarom from New York after a connecting flight from Detroit.

Dragoi did not explain why he brought the weapon, officials said, and it was unclear in which airport he had checked the luggage. He was arrested Sunday and could face up to seven years in prison if convicted.

Romanian authorities did not say whether the gun was loaded. In the United States, firearms may be checked in luggage if aviation officials are notified and the guns are unloaded, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Born in Romania, Dragoi told police he had returned to his native country to visit his sick father. He emigrated 10 years ago.

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