Marion Woman Won't Face Criminal Charge for Handgun at Airport
By Dave Franzman, Reporter
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa- A Marion woman charged with trying to bring a handgun in a carry-on bag through security at the Eastern Iowa Airport will not face criminal charges. At least not now.
Tesha Dobling, 50, was arrested at the airport security line last Thursday. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officials said they found a .25 caliber Beretta pistol concealed under the lining of the bag. The pistol was loaded.
Dobling was facing state charges of carrying a concealed weapon without a permit. That’s an aggravated misdemeanor that could carry a jail term of up to two years.
However Linn County Attorney Jerry Vander Sanden said he decided against charges because there wasn’t enough evidence to bring the case to court. Vander Sanden said authorities did not provide evidence that Dobling was aware the handgun was in the carry-on bag. In addition, the bag contained personal items belonging to two different people.
Vander Sanden said the gun was so carefully hidden the TSA had to scan it twice to determine a weapon was in the framework on the bag itself.
The prosecutor said this was the first such airport weapons case referred to his office. He did not know why arresting officers filed state instead of federal charges.
Vander Sanden said it is possible he could file charges if he sees new evidence that Dobling was aware a weapon was inside the bag.
Dobling called TV9 Tuesday to inform us that prosecutors had dropped the weapons charges against her. She could not be reached on Wednesday for comment.
The TSA can still file a civil penalty against Dobling separate from criminal charges.
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