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Illegal sword in luggage bounces U.S. Marine from departure flight

Date Posted: 2008-05-24

A 27-year-old Marine has missed his flight home and is now in Okinawa Prefectural Police custody after a sword was found in his checked luggage.

Michael D. Spivey was checking in at Naha Airport for his flight leaving Okinawa en route to his new duty station in California when security screeners detected a sword inside his luggage. A police spokesman says screeners found the sword inside a metal tube in the baggage. The sword blade was 14 long, a violation of the Japan Swords and Firearms Control Law, which bars possession of swords or knives with blades longer than 6.

Spivey was taken into police custody Sunday, and is being held by Okinawa authorities. The Okinawa Prefectural Police spokesman in Tomishiro says Spivey acknowledged possessing the sword, which he told them was a gift from a Filipina friend.

The Swords and Firearms Control Law also prohibits firearms, and switchblade knives with blades longer than 2.2. A U.S. Marines spokesman says an investigation is continuing in the incident.

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