Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Man in Tampa airport box cutter incident gets probation

Benjamin Baines Jr., 22, told the judge he’s “a good kid.”

Benjamin Baines Jr., 22, told the judge he’s “a good kid.”

TAMPA — A man who pleaded guilty to trying to smuggle a box cutter in a book through Tampa International Airport security was sentenced Thursday to a year's probation.

Benjamin Baines Jr., 22 of Largo, faced up to six months in prison. He told Senior U.S. District Judge William J. Castagna that he is "a good kid" who learned from his mistake.

Baines pleaded guilty to trying to smuggle a box cutter onto an airplane through the hollowed out pages of a book in his backpack. Airport security officers spotted the cutter in an X-ray image as Baines prepared to board a Southwest Airlines flight on Feb. 17. Baines said he used the book to hide marijuana from his roommates and had forgotten that the knife was in there.

Baines was on his way to Nevada, where he planned to begin working with his father, said defense attorney Thomas Ostrander. "This was a difficult circumstance that does not reflect his character," Ostrander said in court. "This has been a difficult disruption in his life."

Ostrander said other items found inside Baines' backpack made the incident more "sensational" than it was. Baines also had a Koran, a Bible, gang literature and hand-written rap lyrics.

Baines pleaded guilty to state charges of carrying a concealed weapon on the day of his arrest and served 30 days in the Hillsborough County jail.

Kevin Graham can be reached at kgraham@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3433.

Man in Tampa airport box cutter incident gets probation 07/24/08 [Last modified: Thursday, July 31, 2008 3:34pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Coast Guard airlifts man from fishing boat in Gulf of Mexico

    Public Safety

    A 27-year-old man was evacuated from a fishing boat in the Gulf of Mexico by a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter Saturday night, authorities said.

  2. Trump: Not 'that far off' from passing health overhaul

    National

    WASHINGTON — Making a final push, President Donald Trump said he doesn't think congressional Republicans are "that far off" on a health overhaul to replace "the dead carcass of Obamacare." Expressing frustration, he complained about "the level of hostility" in government and wondered why both parties can't work …

    President Donald Trump speaks during a bill signing event for the "Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017" in the East Room of the White House, Friday, June 23, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) DCEV208
  3. Erin Andrews, ex-NHL player Jarret Stoll marry in Montana

    Celebrities

    NEW YORK — Sportscaster Erin Andrews and former NHL player Jarret Stoll have tied the knot.

    FILE - In this Oct. 30, 2016 file photo, Fox Sports broadcaster Erin Andrews, left, speaks with Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones after an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers in Atlanta. Jennifer Allen, a publicist for Andrews, confirms Sunday, June 25, 2017, that the 38-year-old Fox Sports sideline reporter and ???‚??“Dancing with the Stars???‚?? co-host married the 35-year-old Stoll over the weekend.  (AP Photo/David Goldman, File) NYSP103
  4. Amid FBI probe of Tallahassee, Gillum says GOP trying to 'put as much dirt on me as they can'

    Blogs

    Tallahassee mayor and candidate for governor Andrew Gillum might like his supporters to think a federal investigation into development deals in his city is political – but …

    Andrew Gillum
  5. Tampa pedestrian struck, killed near Temple Terrace

    Accidents

    A Tampa woman was killed Saturday night after she was hit by a car while walking near Temple Terrace.