A man who allegedly attempted to check a bag with an explosive device at a Pennsylvania airport on Feb. 27 is now in FBI custody after leaving the scene, authorities say.
Mark Muffley, 40, was set to depart from Lehigh Valley International Airport for Orlando Sanford International Airport when a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agent noticed a suspicious device allegedly hidden in the lining of Muffley’s checked luggage, ABC News reported.
JUST IN: TSA stopped a man at Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley Airport trying to bring an explosive device on a plane, the agency confirms. https://t.co/SPzjTi1aRn
— ABC News (@ABC) March 1, 2023
The circular device was allegedly three inches in diameter with two fuses and a powdery substance wrapped in wax paper and plastic wrap, the outlet stated. Authorities suspect the powder “to be a mixture of flash powder and the dark granulars that are used in commercial grade fireworks,” the outlet noted.
“The black powder and flash powder are susceptible to ignite from heat and friction and posed a significant risk to the aircraft and passengers,” a criminal complaint stated, ABC News reported.
In addition to the device, Muffley’s bag also allegedly contained “a can of butane, a lighter, a pipe with white powder residue, a wireless drill with cordless batteries, and two GFCI outlets taped together with black tape,” the complaint said, according to the outlet. (RELATED: Nunchucks And Saw Blades: TSA Confiscates An Armory’s Worth Of Weapons From Carry-On Bag)
Upon discovering the device, airport personnel locked down part of the airport and paged Muffley who was seen on security cameras allegedly fleeing the airport five minutes later, ABC News reported. While the airport was locked down, FBI and bomb technicians ran an analysis and found that it “was indeed a live explosive device,” the TSA stated, according to the outlet.
The FBI took Muffley into custody later that evening, charging him with “possession of an explosive in an airport and possessing, or attempting to place, or attempting to have placed an explosive or incendiary device on an aircraft,” the outlet stated.
Muffley is scheduled to appear in court on March 2.