ALLOND, March 2 (AP) — A man was arrested after an explosive was found in checked luggage for a Florida-bound flight at an eastern Pennsylvania airport, federal authorities said.
Marc Muffley, 40, is charged with possessing explosives at an airport and possessing or attempting to place an explosive or incendiary device on an aircraft, according to a criminal complaint.
Prosecutors allege the materials were found in a suitcase Muffley checked at Lehigh Valley International Airport on Monday for Allegiant Airlines Flight 201 bound for Sanford International Airport in Orlando, Florida.
After an alarm was raised during a security check, the bag was inspected and a “round compound” about three inches in diameter was found concealed in the lining, wrapped in waxy paper and clear plastic wrap.
FBI bomb technicians X-rayed the compound and concluded it contained a granular powder consistent with “commercial-grade fireworks” and was “suspected to be a mixture of flash powder and dark-colored particles used in commercial-grade fireworks.” .
Attached to it was a “fast fuse” similar to a candle wick — apparently part of the compound’s original manufacture — and a slower-burning “hobby fuse” that appeared to be added after manufacture, authorities said.
According to the criminal complaint, authorities said they concluded that both black powder and flash powder “both readily burn due to heat and friction and pose a significant risk to the aircraft and passengers.”
Also contained in the luggage were “a can of butane, a lighter, a tube with white powder residue, a cordless drill with a cordless battery, and two GFCI receptacles taped together with black tape,” authorities said.
A GFCI receptacle is a type of circuit breaker.
Muffley was paged over the airport’s public address system and was seen leaving the airport a short time later, authorities said. He was traced to an address in Lansford, where he was arrested by the FBI late Monday night.
He remains in custody pending a probable cause and detention hearing in Allentown at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, which Muffley attended via videoconference, officials said.
It was not immediately clear if Muffly had an attorney. Wednesday couldn’t find his work phone number. (Associated Press)
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