Browns DE Smith charged with handgun possession at airport

Cleveland Browns defensive end Robaire Smith faces a gun charge stemming from a 2009 incident in which a loaded firearm was found in his carry-on luggage at a Michigan airport, the Flint Journalreported Thursday.

Smith, 32, was scheduled to board a Nov. 6 flight from Flint to Atlanta when an X-ray machine detected the gun in his bag, Genesee County prosecutor David Leyton said. Smith then told airport security that he had forgotten the gun -- a Belgium 5.7 caliber with between 15 and 17 rounds in the magazine -- was in his possession, according to Leyton.

Smith is charged with possession of a firearm in a sterile area of a commercial airport. The misdemeanor carries a maximum sentence of one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Smith's attorney, Frank J. Manley, said the NFL has been aware of the incident and already imposed discipline on the player. Smith is a 10-year NFL veteran who played the past three seasons for the Browns after stints with the Tennessee Titans and Houston Texans.

The incident with Smith is similar to one that involved Browns teammate Shaun Rogers earlier this year. Rogers was arrested April 1 at Hopkins International Airport in Cleveland after a loaded gun was found in his carry-on luggage.

Rogers was charged with carrying a concealed weapon. That case has yet to be resolved.

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