New York air traffic controller tells cops he smokes CRYSTAL METH to stay awake
Daily Mail, Dec 11, 2015
An air traffic controller who was once responsible for misdirecting a flight carrying Michelle Obama and Jill Biden has been arrested for alleged possession of guns and methamphetamine.
Breen Peck, 52, was pulled over by Nassau County police on Wednesday night in Hempstead, New York on Wednesday night for failing to signal a left turn and illegal window tint, authorities said.
Police said Peck then told officers he had a loaded handgun behind the driver's seat and another in the rear cargo area and that he did not have a permit.
When he was arrested authorities said they found crystal methamphetamine in his front pants pocket.
'That's meth, I smoke it to stay awake, I'm an air traffic controller,' Peck told police, according to court documents obtained by Newsday.
Peck has been charged with criminal possession of a gun, possession of a controlled substance, as well as a number of traffic violations.
The recovered guns were a .40-caliber semi-automatic handgun with 10 rounds in the magazine and a .380-caliber handgun with eight rounds in the magazine.
Police said in a press conference they believe he is an active substance abuser.
The Federal Aviation Administration said it is investigating circumstances surrounding Peck's arrest.
Peck is assigned to New York TRACON, the Westbury air traffic control center that guides flights into and out of the John F. Kennedy, Newark and LaGuardia airports.
He was transferred to Westbury after several incidents at the Warrentown, Virginia air control facility that involved public political figures.
In 2010 Peck was directing the pilot of a United flight in which Wisconsin Republican Rep. James Sensenbrenner Jr. was a passenger.
The flight came within 15 seconds of colliding within a smaller 22-passenger jet, prompting the United pilot to say 'That was close', according to The Washington Post.
In 2011 Peck was directing a White House plane carrying Michelle Obama and Jill Biden that had to abort an attempted landing when it went too close to the wake turbulence of a 200-ton military cargo jet.
Peck, who has been working as an air traffic controller since 1991, was transferred and retrained following the two highly-publicized incidents.
A spokesman for the FAA said Peck was 'in training' at the time of his arrest.