Retired Firefighter Breaches Security at JFK to ‘Give Pope His Business Card': Complaint

A former New York City firefighter carrying five bullets and marijuana breached security at JFK Airport and drove onto the tarmac in order to give Pope Francis his business card, according to a criminal complaint filed against him.

Chris Cannella, 39, followed a United Nations motorcade into JFK around 6 p.m. Saturday and flashed his retired FDNY badge at a security check to get onto the tarmac, the document says.

Cannella was driving a black Chevy Tahoe similar to the SUVs used by the NYPD and the United Nations, authorities said.

The retired firefighter was stopped by detectives as he sat outside a second checkpoint; they asked why he was following the motorcade. Cannella allegedly said he wanted to give the pope his business card and that he wanted to meet with world leaders to affect change.

Cannella also explained to officers that the Secret Service had let him in at a previous checkpoint, and he showed them a cellphone video of him driving through the checkpoint, the court document says.

Upon further investigation, Port Authority police found a 9mm magazine containing five hollow point rounds of ammunition in the trunk of his car and a plastic bag containing marijuana and a marijuana cigarette in the car’s cup holder, the complaint says.

Cannella also allegedly later tore apart a chair in an interrogation room and threatened an officer with the broken pieces.

He is charged with criminal impersonation, criminal mischief, unauthorized possession of a pistol and/or revolver/ammunition, firearms ammunition feeding device, criminal trespass and unlawful possession of marijuana. It was unclear if he had an attorney.

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