FBI file documents Chef Paul Prudhomme’s history of accidentally bringing loaded guns to airports

FBI file documents Chef Paul Prudhomme’s history of accidentally bringing loaded guns to airports

“Believe me, the only ‘heat’ I wanted to bring to Baltimore was my seasoning line.”

Written by
Edited by Michael Morisy

Celebrated Cajun chef Paul Prudhomme found himself in hot water for accidentally bringing a loaded firearm to the airport on more than one occasion, according to his FBI file.

Early in the morning of September 29th, 1993, Prudhomme was stopped at the New Orleans International Airport after a .22 revolver was discovered in his luggage.

Prudhomme was ticketed and released, but since bringing a loaded firearm onto an airplane is a federal crime, the FBI was notified of the incident by the Federal Aviation Administration in order to conduct a full investigation.

After months of failed attempts to contact the constantly-on-the-move Prudhomme, the Bureau finally managed to reach him for telephone interview at his famed French Quarter restaurant on January 7th, 1994. A contrite Prudhomme insisted that he hadn’t intended on bringing the weapon with him …

and offered a surprisingly complex explanation that somehow involved “longjohns” …

and even a diagram.

Interestingly enough, Prudhomme admitted that this wasn’t the first time that this had happened to him. Almost exactly a year prior, he had been arrested for bringing that same gun through security at the Baltimore Washington International Airport.

Earlier in the investigation, the FAA had provided the FBI with a “Baltimore Sun” article describing that incident …

which included this very in-character ad-lib by Prudhomme:

As the file noted, amazingly, just a few months prior to the incident in Maryland, Prudhomme’s wife, Kay, had herself been arrested in Louisiana for accidentally bringing that same gun through airport security in her purse.

On both earlier incidents, the Prudhommes were let off with a warning …

but the FAA could perhaps be forgiven for deciding that three federal violations in less than a year involving the same loaded firearm was a bit much, and levied a fine for the third. The Bureau decided that the fine was sufficient, and closed out the investigation in October 1994.

The largest release is embedded below, and read the rest on the request page.

Image by holga_new_orleans via Flickr and is licensed under CC BY 2.0