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LAX body-armor-clad suspect pleads not guilty

Yongda Huang Harris is seen in this photo provided by family.

November 8, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
A man arrested at Los Angeles International Airport wearing body armor last month has pleaded not guilty to a federal charge of transporting hazardous materials.

Yongda Huang Harris, 28, was taken into custody at LAX on Oct. 5 after authorities noticed he was wearing a bullet-resistant vest and flame retardant pants under his trench coat. Officials say they found numerous weapons, including a smoke grenade, lead-filled leather-coated billyclubs, knives and a hatchet in his luggage.

Prosecutors say Harris' laptop computer contained violent movies showing young girls being tortured and raped.

Harris was a middle-school English teacher in Japan. His lawyer Steven Seiden said he was planning to learn the real estate business in Boston. While authorities do not believe Harris is linked to a terrorist organization, they haven't determined a motive.

A federal judge earlier denied bail for Harris, saying he was a flight risk and a danger to the community. He is due back in court Dec. 17 for a status conference. A trial date was set for Jan. 8.

City News Service contributed to this report.