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March 02, 2023

Carbon County man allegedly hid explosive in his luggage at Lehigh Valley International Airport, feds say

The FBI arrested Marc Muffley for allegedly trying to check the bag onto a flight bound for Florida

Investigations Explosives
Lehigh Valley airport explosive Thom Carroll/for PhillyVoice

Marc Muffley, of Lansford, Pennsylvania, faces criminal charges after he allegedly attempted to check luggage containing an explosive device onto a Florida-bound flight departing from Lehigh Valley International Airport on Monday, authorities say.

A Pennsylvania man was arrested after he checked luggage containing an explosive device on a flight departing from Lehigh Valley International Airport in Allentown, authorities said.

Marc Muffley, 40, faces federal charges for allegedly trying to bring the device onto Allegiant Air Flight 201, which was bound for Orlando Sanford International Airport in Florida, the Associated Press reported. The alleged incident occurred Monday.

Muffley's baggage set off an alarm as it was being screened, prompting TSA to search it. They allegedly found a "circular compound approximately three inches in diameter, wrapped in a wax-like paper and clear plastic wrap hidden in the lining of the baggage, among other items," according to court documents.

An FBI bomb technician concluded that the device contained powder consistent with a commercial grade firework, investigators said. It contained two fuses.

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 circuit breakers taped together with black tape.

The airport was closed for more than two hours after the incident while several agencies, including two bomb squads, responded to the scene. The area near the airport was evacuated. 

Muffley was paged over the airport's public address system, but allegedly was seen leaving the airport shortly afterward. 

He was arrested by the FBI without incident at his home in Lansford, Carbon County on Monday night, CNN reported. He remains in custody and will make his first court appearance Thursday in Allentown.

    Muffley has been charged with possessing an explosive in an airport and possessing or attempting to place an explosive or incendiary device on an aircraft.

    Over the last decade, Muffley has been charged with drug possession, harassment and theft. Federal authorities consulted with Jack Soberick, the former police chief in Lansford, before arresting Muffley. Soberick told CNN that he encountered Muffley several times through the years, but said his previous offenses had been minor in nature.

    "There's nothing that would light up and say, 'Hey, this guy's gonna try to bomb an aircraft,'" Soberick said. "I don't think he's radicalized or anything like that."

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