Skip to main content
Press Release

Man Sentenced for Attempting to Board International Flight with a Loaded Firearm

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of California

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jaclyn Stahl (619) 546-8456


SAN DIEGO – Elan Leroy Gwynn, a San Diego resident, was sentenced today to nine months in custody for attempting to board an international flight from San Diego International Airport to London with a loaded gun in his carry-on luggage.

According to admissions in his plea agreement, Gwynn proceeded through the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) security checkpoint on March 17, 2020. Gwynn placed his carry-on luggage on the conveyor belt for the X-ray machine, and TSA officers identified an object that appeared to be a loaded firearm.

Officers with the San Diego Harbor Police responded and discovered, loose in the bottom of Gwynn’s bag, a Glock 19 replica ghost gun with a fifteen-round magazine, loaded with eleven 9-millimeter rounds of ammunition. A ghost gun is a firearm made by an individual without a serial number or other identifying markings. Ghost guns are illegal under California law. Gwynn was also in possession of several grams of methamphetamine. The FBI responded and placed Gwynn under arrest.

U.S. District Judge Janice L. Sammartino also ordered Gwynn to pay a $5,000 fine and ordered forfeiture of the gun and ammunition seized in this case.

“Firearms have no place on airplanes and pose a serious threat to all aboard,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman. “If individuals engage in this type of dangerous behavior, the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office will investigate and bring appropriate charges.” Grossman thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Jaclyn Stahl as well as the FBI, San Diego Harbor Police and TSA for their excellent work on this case.

“The FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) is available to respond immediately to investigate federal violations of law that threaten the safety of airline passengers,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Suzanne Turner. “The safety of the flying public is a priority for the FBI.”

The FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office will continue to dedicate resources to investigations related to national security and criminal activity at San Diego air, land, and sea ports. This case was investigated by the San Diego FBI and the U.S. Attorney's Office, with support from San Diego Harbor Police and the Transportation Security Administration. Other agencies supporting the FBI include, the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the San Diego Port Authority.

DEFENDANT                                                                                   Case No. 20-CR-1188-JLS

Elan Leroy Gwynn                             Age: 36                                   San Diego, California


Carrying a weapon or explosive on an aircraft, in violation of 49 U.S.C. § 46505.

Maximum Penalty: Ten years in prison; $250,000 fine.


Federal Bureau of Investigation

San Diego Harbor Police

Transportation Security Administration






Updated March 12, 2021

Firearms Offenses
Press Release Number: CAS21-0312-Gwynn