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Naval Officer Attempts To Bring Weapons On Aircraft

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Federal agents say a naval officer from California who´s accused of trying to sneak two knives onto an airplane last weekend, wanted to protect himself if terrorists attacked.

Thomas Mellen, of Mission Viejo, was arrested at Norfolk International Airport in Virginia when officers found he hid the buck knives in each of his boots.

Mellen, a petty officer aboard the destroyer Stump, was in a Virginia federal court yesterday and allowed to go free pending a preliminary hearing next month. Mellen is accused of trying to board American Airlines Flight 15-35, bound for Dallas-Fort Worth, with two five-inch folding buck knives. The 22-year-old is charged with attempting to board an aircraft while carrying a concealed weapon. He faces a maximum of ten years in prison if convicted.