July 11, 2011 — -- The FBI is leading an investigation into a stun gun that was discovered in the back seat pocket of a Jet Blue airplane in Newark, New Jersey, authorities said today.
The stun gun was found by the plane's cleaning staff at Newark International Airport after the flight from Boston landed and passengers had disembarked, Port Authority spokesperson Steve Coleman told ABC News. Local authorities took possession of the weapon and then notified the FBI and Transportation Security Administration.
FBI spokesperson Bryan Travers said the FBI has identified the passenger who was sitting in the seat that uses the pocket in question, but could not yet link that person to the stun gun definitively. The Transportation Security Administration would not confirm or deny whether an air marshal was on board the plane during the flight from Boston, but said air marshals do not carry stun guns. The FBI is investigating how the stun gun, which very closely resembles a smartphone, made it aboard.
"Obviously it got on the plane somehow," Travers said. "Did it get smuggled through security? Was it brought on some other way? That's why it's under investigation."
A spokesperson for the TSA told ABC News they were cooperating with the FBI in their investigation and said, "The TSA employs multiple layers of security to minimize risk, deter future attacks, and protect the traveling public."
The Port Authority brought a K-9 unit onto the flight to search for other contraband, but that search came up empty, Coleman said.
Cell phone stun guns are designed to closely resemble smartphones and are advertised as "covert self-defense" items. The discovery of the stun gun was first reported by New Jersey's Star-Ledger.