APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. JOSEPH
URSO, Judge, presiding.
MR. JUSTICE JOHNSON DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:
Following a bench trial in the circuit court of Cook County, defendant, Arturo Salgado, was found guilty of the offense of unlawful use of weapons. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1975, ch. 38, par. 24-1(a)(4).) He was sentenced to 8 days in the House of Correction.
In his appeal to this court, defendant contends the trial court erred in admitting evidence obtained from him in violation of the boarding aircraft statute (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1975, ch. 38, par. 84-4).
At trial, Chicago Police Officer William Isdell testified that on April 20, 1976, he was assigned to X-ray screening of baggage at O'Hare Airport. On that day a ticket counter supervisor told him a man had purchased only a one-way ticket and had no personal identification.
Officer Isdell proceeded to the ticket counter where he met Arturo Salgado and an accompanying relative. The officer determined Salgado could not speak well in English, but the relative served as interpreter. Officer Isdell informed the men that he wanted to X-ray Salgado's luggage. Salgado gave the luggage to the officer who examined the suitcase with X-ray equipment. During the examination, the officer discovered an object which was in the shape of a gun or a hair dryer. Officer Isdell returned with the luggage and asked whether there was a weapon inside. The response was in the negative.
Officer Isdell asked to search the suitcase. In Salgado's presence, the relative gave the officer permission to open it. The search revealed an unloaded .38-caliber gun wrapped in a pair of trousers. Defendant Salgado was subsequently placed under arrest and charged with failure to possess a State firearms owner identification card as well as unlawful use of weapons.
The court overruled a motion to suppress the gun as evidence and found defendant guilty of unlawful use of weapons.
It is defendant's contention that according to section 4 of the boarding aircraft statute (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1975, ch. 38, par. 84-4), the weapon recovered from his luggage was the product of a search made pursuant to section 3 of the same statute (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1975, ch. 38, par. 84-3) and, as such, was inadmissible to support the charge of unlawful use of weapons.
The State asserts, in response, that the evidence was properly admitted at trial because it was obtained by a lawful search. The State argues the search of defendant's luggage was made with his express oral consent and, therefore, was not within the purview of section 4. Section 3 provides:
"Any person purchasing a ticket to board any commercial or charter aircraft shall by such purchase consent to a search of his person or personal belongings by the company selling the ticket to him. Such person may refuse to submit to a search of his person or personal belongings by the aircraft company but the person refusing may be denied the right to board such commercial or charter aircraft at the discretion of the carrier. Such refusal shall create no inference of unlawful conduct." (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1975, ch. 38, par. 84-3.)
Section 84-4 further provides:
"Any evidence of criminal activity found during a search made pursuant to this Act shall be admissible in legal proceedings for the sole purpose of supporting a charge of violation of this Act and is inadmissible as evidence in any legal proceeding for any other purpose." Ill. Rev. Stat. 1975, ch. 38, par. 84-4.
This court is aware of the objective of the Illinois boarding aircraft statute. The statute was enacted to promote safety and security for commercial and charter flights. See People v. ...