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8-inch knife found rolled in enchiladas at Sonoma County airport

Transportation Security Administration

The woman made her flight, but without the whole enchilada. 

Transportation Security Administration screeners found an unexpected item Monday morning as an Alaska Airlines passenger made her way through a security checkpoint at Sonoma County Airport: an 8-1/2-inch knife, rolled in a tray of enchiladas.

"It's unusual," said TSA spokesman Nico Melendez.

The tray was passing through an X-ray machine when TSA officers "saw something a little bit out of the ordinary," Melendez said. They began looking at the enchiladas when they found the knife inside.

The woman said she wasn't sure how the knife had gotten there, Melendez said, telling the screeners she had rolled all of the enchiladas herself. Because the knife was "artfully concealed," TSA protocol required the screeners to notify local law enforcement.

Two police officers questioned the woman and ultimately cleared her for flight -- no citations were issued or arrests made, Melendez said. But, he said, because the item was considered artfully concealed, the TSA will review the case and could issue a civil penalty.

The knife stayed with the screeners. It was unclear if the enchiladas made the flight.

"First of all ... our screeners are very well trained. They're going to find items that don't belong," Melendez said. "That being said, if a passenger really needs to get that 8 1/2-inch knife from Point A to Point B, they can put it in their checked bag."

As for traveling with food, Melendez said that could also "certainly be done."

"Just not with a knife in the middle," he said.

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kate.mather@latimes.com

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