Former Fort Carson soldier convicted for smuggling firearms to the Dominican Republic

DENVER (KKTV) - It was a case of misplaced luggage that ultimately led to the arrest -- and as of Tuesday -- the conviction of a Fort Carson soldier for smuggling goods from the United States.

Authorities say an airline lost Katherine O'Neal's luggage when she was flying from Denver to the Dominican Republic in June 2015. When her bags arrived later, Dominican Republican officials noticed she had stashed 11 firearms inside and arrested her when she returned to the airport to get her luggage.

O'Neal reportedly declared the firearms to the airline but did not obtain a state department export license, which is required. The Dominican Republic has a ban on all imported firearms.

Tuesday, O'Neal was found guilty in federal court of smuggling goods. The Department of Justice says she was acquitted on all other counts. She had been facing charges of money laundering and false information on firearm purchase forms.

O'Neal will be sentenced in August 2018.