A man is being held by the FBI after it was said that explosives were found in his checked luggage at a Pennsylvania airport.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said in a news release on Wednesday that they stopped a “explosive device” from being put on a flight at Lehigh Valley International Airport on Monday.
During a normal check of checked bags, the suitcase “set off an alarm,” so a TSA agent opened it up to see what was inside. “During the inspection, the TSA officer found something in the suitcase that looked suspicious and could have been a real explosive device,” the agency said.
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That part of the airport was evacuated, and the Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority Police and the FBI were told about what happened. Both federal and local authorities agreed that it was a bomb.
The FBI now has the suspect in their care.
“Transportation Security Officers are highly trained and skilled professionals at the front line of aviation security who are focused on their job,” said TSA Federal Security Director Karen Keys-Turner in the release. “Caughts like this show that point.” “This is an example of how the strong relationships we’ve built with the airport authority, the FBI, and local law enforcement helped keep people traveling safe and secure. I want to thank everyone on the TSA team at Lehigh Valley International Airport for how well they handled this situation.”
Mark Muffley is named as the suspect in a criminal complaint that was filed by FBI Special Agent Eddie Garcia and was seen by PEOPLE. He is accused of having an explosive at an airport and of having, trying to put, or trying to have an explosive or incendiary device put on an airplane.
In the filing, Garcia said that another special agent named Jared Witmier found the explosive, which was a “circular compound,” in the suitcase’s lining. It “had a granular powder hidden in the wax paper and plastic wrap,” which is something that is often found in commercial fireworks.
Witmier found that the explosive was linked to a “quick fuse” and a “hobby fuse.” He compared the fuse to a candle wick.
The complaint said, “A quick fuse is made to light explosives quickly.” It also said, “A hobby fuse is a regular fuse that burns slower than a quick fuse.”
Black powder and flash powder were dangerous for people on the plane because they could catch fire from heat and friction.
According to the complaint, they also found a can of butane, a lighter, a pipe with white powder on it, a wireless drill with cordless batteries, and two GFCI outlets that were held together with black tape.
Muffley was seen getting out of a white Chevrolet Equinox at the airport around 11:40 a.m. that morning. The driver and Muffley both live in Lansford, Pennsylvania, in the same house. When the explosive was found in Muffley’s bag, he was called and asked to come to the security desk. Five minutes later, he was seen leaving the airport on surveillance footage.
The FBI got in touch with Jack Soberick, who used to be the Chief of Police at the Lansford Police Department and is now the Chief of Detectives for Carbon County. He said that he knew Muffley and gave his address as proof. Garcia asked a judge to give him a warrant for Muffley’s arrest so that he could be taken into custody.
The Philadelphia NBC station says that Muffley was arrested at his home on Monday night. As of Wednesday night, he was still in jail. He is due in court on Thursday afternoon for hearings about probable cause and his detention.