Aviation News

July 14, 2011

US Army Private Arrested for Attempting to Smuggle Explosives Onto Airliner

A U.S. soldier has been arrested and charged with attempting to board a United Airlines flight while possessing a small amount of explosives, prosecutors in Arizona confirmed on Thursday.

GI Joe Bazooka

U.S. Army Private First Class Christopher Eric Wey, 19, was arrested on Wednesday when he tried to board a United Airlines flight from Yuma in Arizona to Los Angeles. Security officers with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) detected the presence of explosives in Wey’s luggage during a routine screening.

“TSA personnel subsequently found one-half ounce of C4 explosive hidden in a tobacco can inside one of Wey’s bags. Wey was detained for investigation, and interviewed by Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI),” a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Arizona said.

According to a complaint filed on Thursday, Wey stole the C4 explosive while attending a recent explosive training course. It is not known why he stole it, but authorities found no evidence that Wey intended any harm with the explosives in his possession.

Wey has been charged with one count of Attempt to Carry an Explosive on an Aircraft and one count of Transportation of a Stolen Explosive. He faces a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment, and a $250,000 fine, if convicted.