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Army private arrested after C4 allegedly found in luggage

By Mike M. Ahlers, CNN
  • Airport screeners said they found a half ounce of C4 explosive in a soldier's luggage
  • The Army private first class was arrested Thursday
  • A federal complaint alleges the soldier stole in C4 while attending a training course

(CNN) -- A 19-year-old Army private was arrested Thursday, one day after airport screeners allegedly found a small amount of C4 explosive in his checked luggage at Yuma, Arizona's International Airport.

Officials said they found no evidence to suggesting he intended any harm with the explosives.

According to an account from the U.S. attorney's office, Pfc. Christopher Eric Wey was attempting to board a United Airlines flight to Los Angeles on Wednesday when Transportation Security Administration screeners detected the presence of explosives in Wey's luggage. TSA personnel subsequently found one-half ounce of C4 explosive hidden in a tobacco can inside one of Wey's bags, officials said.

Wey was detained and interviewed by FBI agents. He has been charged with attempting to carry an explosive on an aircraft and transportation of a stolen explosive. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years' imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.

A federal complaint filed by the Justice Department alleges that Wey stole the C4 while attending a recent explosive training course.

Wey's attorney from the federal defender's office did not immediately return a call for comment.

TSA Administrator John Pistole praised the work of the TSA officers involved in the case.

"At airports across the country, TSA employees are on the frontlines every day, working to mitigate threats and keep the traveling public safe," Pistole said in a statement. "With a concerted effort to identify and find explosives, this incident demonstrates the abilities of our highly trained officers and cutting-edge technology."

CNN's Bill Mears contributed to this report.