NEWARK, N.J. – A Newburgh, New York, man today admitted possessing a stolen and loaded firearm that he tried to get through security at Newark Liberty International Airport, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.
Desmond Herring, 48, pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Claire C. Cecchi to an information charging him with one count of possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon and one count of carrying a weapon on an aircraft.
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 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 150 additional 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 carry a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 17, 2022.
U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr. in Newark; officers of the Port Authority Police Department, under the direction of Superintendent Edward Cetnar; and officers of the TSA with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin Levin of the U.S. Attorney’s Office National Security Unit in Newark.