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Man arrested after airport search


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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A Bulgarian national was arrested Sunday at the Atlantic City International Airport in New Jersey after federal security screeners discovered a pair of scissors and two box cutters in his carry-on luggage.

Transportation Security Administration spokesman Robert Johnson said a screener first found the scissors, which were embedded in a bar of soap.

Then the screener found a box containing a hand lotion dispenser, he said. Inside the box, placed around the lotion, were two box cutters, he said.

"We notified police," Johnson said. The FBI also was notified.

The man, 21-year-old Nikolay Volodiev Dzhonev, was charged with possession of a prohibited item and taken to the Atlantic County jail where he was held on $100,000 bond.

"It appeared to be suspicious, and now we're just trying to confirm his stories," said Lt. Ted Kammer, public affairs officer at Egg Harbor Township police.

An FBI official identified Dzhonev as a law student from Bulgaria who works at a convenience store where he appears to have obtained the objects.

According to Egg Harbor police, Dzhonev is participating in a four-month work-travel program to promote the general interests of international exchange through temporary employment.

The U.S. attorney in Newark, New Jersey, was expected Monday to make the decision about whether to file charges.

But the FBI official told CNN the man apparently made an honest mistake.

According to Johnson, Dzhonev told authorities he concealed the items in order to protect them from damaging the clothing and other items in his bag.

"It makes no difference to us what the motive is. The bottom line is these items are prohibited, and we're to stop them if we can," Johnson said.

Johnson said Dzhonev was headed to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on Spirit Airline. He arrived at the airport around 4:45 a.m. ET Sunday and was the last to go through the passenger screening checkpoint around 7:30 a.m. His flight was scheduled to take off at 8 a.m., Johnson said.

He was traveling on a one-way ticket purchased last month over the Internet, Johnson said.

Atlantic City International Airport's screeners are federal employees.

"We think it shows when you have a force better trained, better motivated and more enthusiastic, ... this is the kind of result you get," Johnson said.

CNN Correspondent Patty Davis and producers Jamie McShane, Jean Weinberg and Terry Frieden contributed to this report.



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