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Police: NBA legend Bill Russell arrested with gun at airport

From AnneClaire Stapleton, CNN
October 19, 2013 -- Updated 1524 GMT (2324 HKT)
Bill Russell won 11 championships in his 13 years in the NBA.
Bill Russell won 11 championships in his 13 years in the NBA.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Russell had handgun in the airport, authorities said
  • Russell played for the Boston Celtics
  • He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011

(CNN) -- NBA legend Bill Russell was arrested this week for allegedly bringing a loaded gun to Sea-Tac International Airport in Seattle, police said.

Russell, 79, was arrested Wednesday and issued a state citation for having a weapon in a prohibited area of the airport, said Perry Cooper, a Port of Seattle Police Department spokesman.

Russell was issued a citation and released. He had a .38-caliber Smith & Wesson handgun in a forbidden area of the airport, said Lisette Garcia, a Transportation Security Administration spokeswoman.

A photo of Phil Spector released in September 2014 shows the toll that prison has taken on the former music mogul. The picture was taken of Spector -- who is serving time for the 2003 killing of actress Lana Clarkson -- in 2013 at a prison in Corcoran, California. A photo of Phil Spector released in September 2014 shows the toll that prison has taken on the former music mogul. The picture was taken of Spector -- who is serving time for the 2003 killing of actress Lana Clarkson -- in 2013 at a prison in Corcoran, California.
Celebrity mugshots: Phil Spector
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The gun was found during a screening of carry-on bags at a checkpoint, the TSA said.

"Firearms, ammunition, firearm parts and realistic replicas of firearms are always prohibited in carry-on baggage. However, these items can be transported in checked baggage provided the traveler declares them to the airline during the ticket counter check-in process," a TSA statement said.

Along with the state citation, Russell could be fined up to $7,500, the TSA said.

The 6-foot-9 former basketball star is best known for being the driving force behind an amazing string of consecutive NBA championships while playing for the Boston Celtics. He won 11 championships in his 13-year career that ended in 1969. During two years of his career with the Celtics he also served as player and coach, becoming the NBA's first African-American head coach.

In 2011, he was part of a group 15 people awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America's highest civilian honor.

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