Man gets probation in BWI gun case

January 10, 2008|By Nicole Fuller | Nicole Fuller,sun reporter

A Virginia man who brought a loaded handgun to Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport in August was sentenced yesterday to six months of unsupervised probation and fined $250.

Thomas James Sackie, 45, of Falls Church, Va., pleaded guilty yesterday to having a handgun on his person without a permit, waiving his right to a jury trial.

Anne Arundel County Circuit Judge William C. Mulford II sentenced Sackie, who had no prior criminal record, to probation before judgment and said he must forfeit the weapon, a 9 mm Glock 17.

"I'm not going to lecture you," Mulford said. "You know what you did. In this day and age: wrong place, wrong time."

Sackie is a senior vice president of Oakley Network Systems, a data security and investigative firm that specializes in protecting clients against "internal threats," according to records.

Sackie was walking with his daughter about 11:30 a.m. Aug. 1 from the upper parking escalator near the D Pier in the airport when a federal Transportation Security Administration officer noticed "a bulge on his hip that would indicate a firearm," according to charging documents.

The weapon was loaded with three magazines, containing 16 rounds each, the documents said.

The incident became public more than two weeks later when the TSA Web site lauded the success of its Screening Passengers by Observation Techniques program, in which officers are trained to identify suspicious people before they reach secure areas of an airport.

In an interview with police, Sackie, who was dropping his daughter off at the airport, said he was taking classes to obtain the permit in Virginia. He was arrested, charged and released without bail.

Assistant State's Attorney Kelly Poma, who prosecuted the case, said weapon permits from other states carry no jurisdiction in Maryland.

Barry H. Helfand, Sackie's attorney, said yesterday in court, "He recognized it was a mistake."

nicole.fuller@baltsun.com

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