The Malaysian major who made an appearance in an Abilene federal courtroom after he was caught trying to smuggle a fire arm onto an American Eagle plane in San Angelo, allegedly in order to eventually sneak it into Malaysia, is scheduled to be in court in Lubbock.
Mohd Faiz Bin Abdul Jalil had been training at Goodfellow Air Force Base in San Angelo since January of this year.
He was arrested after a TSA agent at the San Angelo airport located a disassembled .22 caliber pistol hidden in some bags he had checked.
The handgun's various pieces had been concealed inside several objects, including a watch band and a hand weight used for weight lifting which had been hollowed out.
Jalil was flying from San Angelo with his final destination listed as Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The hearing to decide if he will await trial in jail or out on bail is scheduled for Friday in Lubbock; however, his attorney has asked that it be postponed for a few days until he can further investigate the matter.
A ruling on the delay has not yet been made.
04/18/14 Original Story
A Major with the Royal Malaysian Air Force was caught in San Angelo attempting to smuggle a gun from San Angelo to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
On April 16, Mohd Faiz Bin Abdul Jalil was scheduled to fly from Mathis Field Airport in San Angelo, with a connecting flight in Dallas, and then from Dallas to Kuala Lumpur.
While a TSA agent was checking a bag and a box belonging to Jalil at the airport in San Angelo, the x-ray machine alerted the agent that something within the suitcase and the box was keeping the x-ray from seeing everything inside.
Upon opening the box, the agent located a round ice cooler, similar to ones found in hotel rooms, which contained a plastic hand weight. Within the hand weight was concealed the grip/receiver portion of a Taurus, PT-22, .22 caliber pistol.
The weight also contained a magazine containing eight .22 caliber bullets.
Within the suitcase, the agent found a corkscrew and can opener taped together, and between them was held the pistol’s barrel.
The remaining part of the pistol, the metal slide, was located within the wristband of a metal wrist watch housed inside a metal box contained in the suitcase.
San Angelo Police Officers and TSA agents contacted Jalil, who had already boarded the plane, escorted him off the flight and asked him about the gun. Jalil said he had hidden the weapon so the Malaysian government would not find it when he arrived.
Homeland Security agents interviewed Jalil and found he had been in the United States Legally since January 5, 2014 on an A2 Non-immigrant Diplomatic Visa for the purposes of military training at Goodfellow Air Force Base in San Angelo.
Jalil had been staying in a dorm on the base during his stay in the U.S.
Jalil purchased the pistol while attending a gun show in Sweetwater with two other students from the Air Force base. He told authorities two other vendors refused to sell him a gun since he was not a U.S. citizen, but a third vendor did agree to sell him the weapon for $200, and Jalil said the vendor did not ask him to fill out any paper work.
Jalil said he knew he was not supposed to have the gun and concealed it in a bag where he took it back to the base and kept it until he was supposed to fly out.
Jalil said he took the magazine from a foreign student liaison who took them to a shooting range.
Jalil will be transferred to Lubbock Friday, April 18 and held in federal custody for prosecution. If convicted, Jalil faces 10 years.