FAYETTEVILLE — An X-ray machine machine at the Fayetteville Airport detected an artillery simulator in a passenger's carry-on bags Saturday.
Police charged James Carter with trying to sneak the military training device on to a plane.
"The item was found at the security screen," said Fayetteville Police Capt. Tom Bergamine. "The folks out there at the airport were doing what they were supposed to be doing."
Carter has been in trouble with the law before. He was just one month shy of getting off federal probation for selling and distributing automatic weapons to an agent from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Agents said they did not know why Cater tried to bring the device onto the plane, or even how he got it.
"Fayetteville is a smaller community," said Airport Director Bradley Whited. "You don't think of these kinds of things but you just never know. So we're thankful that the security measures worked. We practice a lot. We're serious about it and it turned out well."
Experts said if the metal casing would have exploded, it would have had about the same impact as a handfull of fireworks.
"We certainly don't want to see these things at all. Period," Whited said. "But it happened today and we're happy the results were positive."
Carter now faces federal charges. He is currently in Cumberland County Jail on $50,000 secured bond.