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Sat, Sep 20, 2003

Woman Arrested For Carrying Gun Into DIA

She's Not Arrested; Her Hubby's a TSA Guy

A 35-year-old woman was arrested Tuesday at Denver International Airport for unlawful carrying of a weapon, that li'l something she left in her purse.

Helene C. Nance, who is an on-call employee at DIA and works there in Human Resources, entered a screening area carrying a black soft-sided bag, and the X-ray machine showed a small handgun inside the bag. TSA agents found a semi-automatic .380 caliber handgun, along with seven live rounds and one magazine, and then detained the woman.

What she was doing in the secured area, or why she went there (apparently without a flight to catch) was not discussed.

The Denver Post reports that, "Her husband, J.B. Nance, is one of 20 Transportation Safety Administration screening managers at the airport." The male Nance had no comment, when contacted by local news outlets.

According to the Transportation Safety Administration, Helene won't face state or federal charges, because there was no proven intent to smuggle the gun through security. Her husband's position had nothing to do with the special treatment, the TSA says. The TSA says Nance might have to face civil charges, which could include fines up to $11 thousand. 

Ms. Nance says she forgot the gun was in her bag, and had no intention of bringing it to the airport. Nance has been temporarily suspended from her DIA job, pending the outcome of the investigation of the incident. She says she had the gun because she didn't want to leave it in her car, which is in the shop.

FMI: www.hsd.gov

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