QUEENS, New York (WTNH) – The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) stopped a Connecticut woman from bringing a loaded gun through security at John F. Kennedy International Airport on Friday.
Port Authority identified the woman as 32-year-old Andrea Valdovinos of Greenwich.
The TSA said Valdovinos was not ticketed to fly but received a “gate pass” from the airline to allow her to escort her child through the checkpoint and to their gate. While attempting to go through security, TSA found a .22 caliber handgun loaded with nine bullets, including one in the chamber.
Valdovinos was arrested and is facing a civil financial penalty for bringing a gun to a TSA security checkpoint, which is a maximum of $15,000.
“Our TSA team at JFK perform their jobs exceptionally well with a keen focus to our mission,” said John Essig, TSA’s Federal Security Director for the airport. “When dangerous items such as loaded guns are brought to a security checkpoint, it represents a serious safety concern. When a bullet is in the chamber of the firearm, it is an accident waiting to happen. Nobody is permitted to carry a firearm through a checkpoint—not a gate pass holder, not someone with a concealed weapons permit, not a traveler.”
According to TSA, this was the first gun detected at the airport this year.