HARARE, Zimbabwe — A retired U.S. Army soldier was arrested and has been in detention in Zimbabwe for a week charged with trying to board a plane with a loaded and unregistered pistol, state media reported Tuesday.
Ronald Leon Johnson was arrested Feb. 15 as he checked in at Robert Mugabe Airport in the capital, Harare, for a flight to the tourist town of Victoria Falls, The Herald newspaper reported. Johnson was charged with boarding a plane with a firearm without permission and unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition, his lawyer, Munyaradzi Bwanya, said
The U.S. Embassy in Harare declined to give out any information on Johnson’s rank or period of service in the Army.
Airport security officials found a Glock 9 mm pistol loaded with 15 rounds of ammunition after searching his suitcase, The Herald said. Johnson faces five years in jail or a fine if convicted under the country’s Firearms Act.
Johnson’s home address is in Woodbridge, Virginia, according to court documents. He is yet to appear at a court for a bail hearing. He has been in Zimbabwe since Feb. 5 on a month-long holiday visa, according to The Herald.