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Plea deal likely for Bona coach in gun case Magnum was seized from carry-on bag

St. Bonaventure University's baseball coach hopes to take a federal plea deal next week after having tried to board a commercial airliner while possessing a .357-caliber Magnum handgun in his carry-on bag.

Coach Larry Sudbrook, 52, of Bradford, Pa., is scheduled to appear Thursday before U.S. Magistrate Judge H. Kenneth Schroeder Jr.

Sudbrook has reached a tentative plea deal with federal prosecutors, said his attorney, Joel L. Daniels. He did not specify to what charge Sudbrook plans to plead guilty but said that it would be "the lowest rung of federal infraction." The coach hopes to pay a fine and serve no time in prison.

Federal prosecutors are trying to work out a plea arrangement with Sudbrook, but any such deal will have to be approved by Schroeder, U.S. Attorney Terrance P. Flynn said.

"[Sudbrook] was required to surrender the gun to federal law enforcement," Flynn said.

Sudbrook made an honest but regrettable mistake when he went to Buffalo Niagara International Airport on May 10 while carrying the gun in his briefcase, Daniels said.

"He made a major-league mistake," Daniels told The Buffalo News on Thursday. "He had no intent to break the law. . . . He had put the gun in his bag several days earlier, and he forgot that the gun was in there."

Sudbrook was detained by police after Transportation Security Administration inspectors found the firearm. He was then taken to federal court for arraignment on a felony charge of illegally attempting to board a plane with a firearm.

A 21-year coach at St. Bonaventure, Sudbrook was trying to travel with his team to a series of games in North Carolina when he was arrested. He has publicly apologized for his actions, calling them "a terrible embarrassment."

According to Daniels, Sudbrook is a hunter, gun collector and target shooter who is licensed to carry a firearm in Pennsylvania. The attorney said Sudbrook had put the gun in his briefcase several days before his arrest.

"He was going to put the gun into his locked gun room, but he just forgot," Daniels said. "He immediately admitted what he had done after the gun was found."

e-mail: dherbeck@buffnews.com

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