CHIBA (TR) – Chiba Prefectural Police have arrested a male member of the U.S. Air Force after he was found to be in possession of a pistol upon arrival at Narita International Airport on Monday, reports the Sankei Shimbun (July 23).
At around 5:50 p.m., Michael Edward Applegate, a 43-year-old fireman, allegedly arrived at Terminal 1 on a flight from the U.S. with the automatic, 28 rounds of ammunition and two magazines inside a suitcase.
Applegate, who was accused of aggravated possession under the Swords and Firearms Control Law on Tuesday, denies the allegations. “It is mine,” the suspect said of the gun. “But it might have slipped into my luggage as I hurriedly packed.”
According to police, Applegate is stationed at Kadena Air Base in Okinawa Prefecture. At the time of his apprehension, he was in the process of boarding a domestic flight for Okinawa.