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Hundreds Arrested At DFW Annually

(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Jack Fink
Jack moved to Dallas after three years at WESH-TV, the NBC affil...
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DFW INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (CBSDFW.COM) When Christopher Shell left the Collin County Jail on Friday he did not comment except to say, “Gentleman, have a nice day.”

But these past couple of days have not really been nice for Christopher Shell. First, he was the innocent victim of a bomb hoax on a Dallas-bound flight that had to return to Philadelphia. Then, when he arrived back at DFW International Airport, he was arrested by airport police, and later brought to the Collin County Jail. Not for the hoax. But because Shell had outstanding arrests involving two misdemeanor drug counts.

Shell is not alone. It turns out, there are a lot of people with outstanding warrants who are arrested at DFW Airport.

Records show in the 2010, DFW Airport police arrested 163 people on outstanding warrants. That number jumped to 204 in 2011. And so far in 2012, police have nabbed 146 people according to the airport.

“They’re surprised we actually caught them, but  they knew they have warrants,” said Lt. Lonnie Freeman who oversees criminal investigations at the DFW Airport Department of Public Safety. “When you’re talking about an airport that deals with 60 million passengers plus a year, that’s a sizeable number, and so a lot of times, they’ll be contacted by the police.

Freeman said people are often caught if they are returning on an international flight and go through U.S. Customs or if they are stopped by airport police, who then do background checks.

“We’re just like the other police departments in other cities and to a certain degree larger than the other cities,” said Freeman.

So if you have outstanding warrants, and you are planning to fly out of town on vacation or business, Lt. Freeman suggest you clear your record, before your trip makes an unexpected stop – behind bars – like Christopher Shell.

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