COOK COUNTY COURTHOUSE - State Sen. Donne Trotter was packing an illegal handgun in his carry-on when he got pinched at an O’Hare Airport checkpoint, prosecutors said at a Thursday bond hearing.
Trotter’s bail was set at $25,000 on felony charges that he tried to board a plane with an unloaded .25-caliber Beretta. He also allegedly carried an ammunition clip loaded with bullets.
Trotter, D-Chicago, who last week announced he would seek the congressional seat vacated by former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr., appeared in court wearing the same brown suit he was arrested in Wednesday as he attempted to board a plane to Washington, D.C.
Prosecutors said in court that Trotter told Transportation Security Administration agents he is employed by Allpoints Security and Detective Inc., where he said he had worked the night shift on Tuesday. Trotter said he forgot to take his gun out of his garment bag.
Trotter told authorities the gun was legally registered in Chicago, but a search of handgun records found that it was not, prosecutors said.
Trotter does have a permit to carry a handgun while working as a security guard and traveling to and from his job. Trotter had a valid firearm owner's identification card that listed his address as his Senate office at the state Capitol building rather than his South Shore home, sources said.
A spokesman at Allpoints declined to comment on whether Trotter was an employee or if he worked Tuesday night.
Trotter was considered among the front-runners to replace Jackson in Congress and had been slated by the Thornton Township Democratic Organization. In the Senate, Trotter also has strongly opposed proposed conceal-and-carry laws. The future of his congressional campaign remained uncertain Thursday.
After posting his bail, Trotter rushed from the Cook County Courthouse flanked by his attorney and a horde of reporters.
His attorney, Joshua Herman, stepped in front of almost a dozen TV cameras only to decline to comment.
"It's been a long day," said Herman. Trotter cut in to correct him, saying that it's been a long "two days."
Trotter served in the state House from 1988 until 1993, when he won the state Senate seat he still holds.