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. Comedian and activist Dick Gregory dies at 84

    Nation

    The comedian Dick Gregory rose to national prominence in the early 1960s as a black satirist whose audacious style of humor was biting, subversive and topical, mostly centered on current events, politics and above all, racial tensions. His trademark was the searing punchline.

    Dick Gregory, a comedian, activist and author, died Saturday. [Tribune News Service, 2011]
  2. Winter Haven police investigating armed robbery at Dollar General

    Crime

    WINTER HAVEN — Police are investigating an armed robbery Friday night of a Dollar General store on W Lake Ruby Drive.

  3. Rowdies settle for draw at home

    Soccer

    ST. PETERSBURG — The good news for the Rowdies is that they still haven't lost a game at Al Lang Stadium since late April. The bad news is they had to settle for a 1-1 tie against Ottawa on Saturday night in front of 6,710 sweaty fans.

  4. Bats come to life, but Rays' freefall continues (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG —The six runs seemed like a ton, just the second time the Rays had scored that many in a game during their numbing two-plus-weeks stretch of offensive impotency, and amazingly, the first time at the Trop in nearly two months.

    Lucas Duda connects for a two-run home run in the sixth, getting the Rays within 7-5. A Logan Morrison home run in the ninth made it 7-6, but Tampa Bay couldn’t complete the comeback.
  5. 'Free speech rally' cut short after massive counterprotest

    Nation

    BOSTON — Thousands of demonstrators chanting anti-Nazi slogans converged Saturday on downtown Boston in a boisterous repudiation of white nationalism, dwarfing a small group of conservatives who cut short their planned "free speech rally" a week after a gathering of hate groups led to bloodshed in Virginia.

    Thousands of people march against a “free speech rally” planned Saturday in Boston. About 40,000 people were in attendance.