Retired American soldier detained in Zimbabwe for taking a gun on a plane

A retired U.S. Army soldier has been arrested and has been in custody in Zimbabwe for a week on charges of trying to board a plane with a loaded and unregistered pistol, state media reported on Tuesday.

Harare, Zimbabwe (AP) – A retired U.S. Army soldier has been arrested and has been in custody in Zimbabwe for a week on charges of trying to board a plane with a loaded and unregistered pistol, state media reported on Tuesday.

Ronald Leon Johnson was arrested on February 15 during check-in at Robert Mugabe Airport in the capital Harare for a flight to the tourist town of Victoria Falls, according to The Herald. Johnson was accused of boarding a plane with a firearm without permission and illegally storing firearms and ammunition, his lawyer Munyaradi Bwanya said.

The U.S. Embassy in Harare declined to give any information about Johnson’s rank or period of service in the military.

Airport security officers found a 9-mm Glock pistol loaded with 15 rounds of ammunition, searching his suitcase, according to The Herald. Johnson faces five years in prison or a fine if convicted under the Firearms Act.

According to court documents, Johnson’s home address is in Woodbridge, Virginia. He has not yet appeared in court to hear the bail case. According to The Herald, he has been in Zimbabwe since February 5 on a monthly vacation visa.

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