WANTAGH, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — An air traffic controller in Westbury, Long Island has been charged with illegally carrying weapons and possessing crystal meth.
Police arrested Breen Peck, 52, during a traffic stop in Wantagh at 10:22 p.m. Wednesday. Investigators say Peck confessed to carrying two loaded guns without a permit. They said they found the crystal meth in his pants pocket.
Peck works as an air traffic controller at the Terminal Radar Approach Control Facilities, or TRACON, in Westbury, 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera reported.
As CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported, police said Peck was headed to a local hotel for the night when he was stopped in a car with illegally tinted windows.
Peck, whose home address is listed as being in Redkey, Indiana, has been charged with criminal possession of a weapon, criminal possession of a controlled substance and numerous traffic violations.
Sources told 1010 WINS that Peck was transferred to New York after possibly being involved in at least two other near misses in the Washington D.C. area — with one incident involving a plane carrying First Lady Michelle Obama, and another involving a plane carrying a Congressman. The matter is still under investigation.
The FAA could not confirm that Peck was the same air traffic controller responsible for those incidents, but a source told CBS2 that Peck was made to undergo extensive training in 2011.
The FAA said Peck was not on duty directing aircraft because he failed his Westbury testing.
Peck is assigned to the facility training program at New York Terminal Radar Approach in Westbury.
“The Nassau County Police Department notified the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today that they arrested Breen Peck, an air traffic employee at the New York Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) in Westbury, NY, yesterday,” The FAA said in a statement. “Peck currently is not an air traffic controller, he is assigned to the facility training program. The FAA is investigating the circumstances related to the investigation.”
Peck admitted to arresting officers that he had two unlicensed handguns in his car. They also found a stash of what is believed to be crystal methamphetamine in his pants pocket.
According to Acting Nassau Police Commissioner Thomas Krumpter said Peck is charged with two counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the 2nd degree, criminal possession of a controlled substance and several traffic violations.
“We believe he is an active substance abuser. Nassau County Police Department may have averted an air disaster in the skies above Nassau County by arresting this defendant,” Krumpter said.
Peck was arrested without incident. He is due in court Thursday. He has maintained his innocence, but was not represented by a union layer. A judge held him on $25,000 bond.
The center where Peck is employed controls flights into and out of LaGuardia, Kennedy, Long Island MacArthur, Republic, Newark Liberty, and Teterboro airports.