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Buccaneers' Da'Quan Bowers arrested on gun charge

Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Da'Quan Bowers was arrested at LaGuardia Airport in Flushing, N.Y., on Monday after authorities learned he was illegally carrying a handgun, according to police.

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A loaded .40 caliber firearm was discovered among Bowers' possessions at a flight check-in counter, per WNBC-TV. The two-year pro was set to board a US Airways flight to Raleigh, N.C.

A spokeswoman for the Queens District Attorney's Office confirmed to NFL Network that Bowers has been charged with two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon. He was arraigned Monday on charges of criminal possession of a weapon and posted $10,000 bond, CBS News reported.

Bowers, out of Clemson University, started six games as a rookie and none last season for the Bucs, compiling just 13 tackles in 10 appearances. Bowers was activated from the physically unable to perform list in October after tearing his Achilles tendon in May, but has failed to live up to his second-round draft status from 2011.

UPDATE: Bucs general manager Mark Dominik said in a statement to The Tampa Bay Times the team was aware of the situation and was "gathering information."

"We will withhold comment until we know all the facts," Dominik said in a statement.

Meris Campbell, a spokeswoman for the Queens County District Attorney, told the Times that Bowers voluntarily turned the weapon over to authorities. Campbell also told the newspaper -- which pointed out that Bowers is charged with the same offense that put Plaxico Burress in jail for 20 months -- that the defensive end is facing a felony charge. Second-degree criminal possession of a weapon is punishable anywhere from 3½ to 15 years, according to Campbell.

Bowers' attorney told the Tampa Tribune that he expects his client to be "fully exonerated" of all charges, pending a fair investigation.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said Bowers' arrest "will be reviewed under our league policies."

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

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