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Employee charged with bringing stolen handgun into airport

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An employee with one of the vendors at Charleston International Airport has been arrested and charged with bringing a loaded handgun to work, according to an airport police report.

The 18-year-old woman, Amari Damya Ancrum, has been charged with possession of a stolen handgun and unlawful carrying, the police said. The FBI has been called about the case as well.

Transportation Security Administration Supervisor Elizabeth Barnes called airport police when one of her agents detected a firearm in a clear, plastic bag on an X-ray machine at a security checkpoint inside the airport Monday, the report said.

Airport police officer Ervin Armstrong said the 9 mm handgun was loaded with 11 rounds in the magazine, but the chamber was empty.

When questioned by police officers, Ancrum told officers she found the firearm the day before at a gas station on Ashley Phosphate Road in North Charleston. She also told officers that she forgot that she had placed the weapon in her handbag when she tried to go through security on her way to her job at Dunkin Donuts.

Armstrong ran the handgun through the National Crime Information Center, which is a national database of crime data used by law enforcement. The NCIC search indicated the gun was stolen, the report said.

Ancrum was handcuffed and arrested with unlawful carrying of a firearm and possession of a stolen weapon, the report said. She refused to talk to police after having her rights read to her, the report said. However, one of her co-workers did speak to police.

Amiyah M. Edwards told police that she and Ancrum arrived at work together in her vehicle, and she knew about the firearm.

“She stated that Ms. Ancrum wrapped the firearm in (a) shirt after locating it and did not immediately tell Ms. Edwards about locating it,” Aviation Authority Police Sgt. Jason J. Brandon said in the report. “Ms. Edwards stated that Ms. Ancrum was intending to sell the firearm but did not have any other details or information.”

Edwards was allowed to leave, but she was asked to surrender her airport security badge. Brandon said he and another officer searched Edwards’ vehicle, and nothing unlawful was found inside.

Armstrong said the owner of the stolen firearm has been called, and Ancrum was taken to the Charleston County Detention Center for processing.

Reach Andy Owens at 843-849-3142.

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