Man with bulletproof vest, body bags arrested at LA airport

Oct 9 (Reuters) - A man who flew into Los AngelesInternational Airport from Japan wearing a bulletproof vest andflame retardant clothing has been arrested after a smokegrenade, various weapons and body bags were found in hisluggage, officials said on Tuesday.

Yongda Huang Harris, who was due in federal court on Tuesdayto face a charge of transporting hazardous materials, was intransit en route for Boston when airport security officialsstopped him on Friday after noticing his odd attire.

Customs and border patrol agents searched his checked bagsand among other items found a gas mask, bio-hazard suits, bodybags, three leather-coated billy clubs, knives, a hatchet andleg irons.

The single charge against Harris, 28, stems from the smokegrenade, an item that is prohibited on passenger aircraft,officials said. While Harris lives in Boston, officials said, hehad recently been living and working in Japan.

They did not give any explanation as to how he boarded hisplane in Japan without raising suspicions.

Harris faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison ifconvicted.

(Writing by Mary Slosson; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and DavidBrunnstrom)

((Mary.Slosson@thomsonreuters.com)(+1 916 509 5506))