Skip to main content

Sun Country pilot arrested for bringing loaded gun to airport ahead of MSP flight

The 54-year-old Minnesotan was detained in Florida.

A pilot for Sun Country Airlines was arrested after allegedly bringing a loaded gun to a Florida airport before a flight bound to the Twin Cities.

A TSA agent found the firearm in the carry-on suitcase of a 54-year-old Sun Country pilot from Minnesota at Southwest Florida International Airport, in Fort Myers, on Friday night.

Michelle Soplata, who was due to travel on flight 386 from Fort Myers to MSP Airport, told BMTN that their flight was canceled and they had to wait until Saturday lunchtime to return to the Twin Cities.

The News-Press in Florida reports that the Sun Country pilot told security he had packed his own bag, before a TSA agent found the KEL-TEC .380 pistol in a pouch in the front of his case, that was loaded with six rounds.

The newspaper notes the pilot has a permit to carry in Minnesota, but it's not valid in Florida.

In a statement to Bring Me The News, Sun Country said it's aware of the situation and has been in contact with local law enforcement in Florida.

It won't comment specifically on its pilot, citing the "interest of respecting the privacy of and preserving the trust of all our employees."

The passengers due to fly to MSP were given hotels, meal vouchers and a $200 flight voucher as an apology for the inconvenience.

Sign up subscribe to our daily newsletters

Next Up

FLickr - crime scene tape do not crozz

Charges: MN teen shot mom after dispute over meth

The girl's mother said there had been a dispute over methamphetamine.

bad roads, blizzard

No travel advised: High winds, whiteout conditions in NW MN

Zero visibility in parts of greater Minnesota Tuesday night.

holy angels high school j nelson

Update: Holy Angels evacuated over bomb threat, school says

Someone left a voicemail early Tuesday suggesting there was an explosive device.

radio station, microphone

Convicted stalker charged with harassment of another DJ at The Current

He pleaded guilty to similar charges involving the DJ's colleague back in 2015.

Mall of America exterior Tyler Vigen Wikimedia COmmons

10 new shops, food stops at Mall of America

Donuts, K-fashion, model cars — the new tenants cover a lot of bases.

Gophers basketball

Gophers fall below roster minimum, postpone Penn State game

It is "due to internal COVID-19 protocols within the Golden Gopher program."

Raheem Morris

Report: Vikings request interview with Rams' Raheem Morris

Morris was once the youngest head coach in the NFL at 33 years old.

train crossing S Boardman Ave, New York Mills, Minnesota - August 2013 crop GSV

Sheriff: Drunk driver crashed trying to 'beat the train'

The BNSF train slammed into the side of the driver's car.


Man run over after parking dispute leads to road rage crash

The two groups fought about parking prior to the crash.

hwy 41 engler boulevard crash crop

Deadly crash shuts down small stretch of Chaska highway for hours

A driver crossed over the center median and hit another vehicle.

covid test 6

You can now order 4 free at-home COVID tests from the government

Tests will ship for free within 7-12 days, according to the White House.


Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Tuesday, January 18

Minnesota has reached 11,000 COVID-19 deaths.


Sun Country announces flash sale on flights from MSP Airport

Prices start from $49 one-way, but will vary depending on when you travel.

Sun Country announces 4 new routes out of MSP Airport

The budget airline says fares will start at $59 one-way, before fees and tax.

Sun Country adds 19 new seasonal routes – including 8 from MSP

It includes $49 one-way tickets between MSP and Chicago O'Hare.

Sun Country abandons MSP passengers in Mexico

Passengers in Mazatlan and Cabo were told to make alternative arrangements.

Sun Country woos Duluth, Mankato travelers with shuttles to MSP

The airline announced the new direct services this week.

Sun Country to launch first flights into Canada from MSP

The direct link between the Twin Cities and Vancouver launches next year.

sun country

Sun Country adds 9 more flights out of MSP Airport

The new additions include large cities and popular outdoor destinations.

Sun Country to offer $49 flights if you book on Black Friday

Airlines are slashing prices for the busiest shopping weekend of the year.