NEWARK, N.J. – A Sandy Springs, Georgia, man appeared in federal court today 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 this afternoon 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, 2021, 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 (TSA) 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, Georgia.
Further investigation of Herring’s bag revealed that it contained a 9 millimeter pistol, 10 rounds of 9 millimeter ammunition loaded into a magazine, and three boxes of ammunition that each contained 50 rounds of 9 millimeter 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.
Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr. in Newark, and officers of the Port Authority Police Department, under the direction of Superintendent Edward Cetnar, with the investigation leading to the charges.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin Levin of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Violent Crimes Unit in Newark.
The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.