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California man arrested for possession of bomb-making materials

A man returning to his California home was detained by the Transportation Security Administration and now faces a charge based on criminal law for the possession of bomb-making materials. A spokesman from the Alameda County Sheriff's Office reported that federal security agents found bomb-making materials in a watch in his possession while attempting to board a Southwest Airlines flight to his Rancho Palos Verdes home. The suspect is at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin on $150,000 bail.

According to TSA agents, the suspect removed his watch when he was going through a security checkpoint and placed it with his carry-on baggage and his coat. A TSA agent noticed the watch that was comprised of a large leather strap, a protruding toggle switch, wires, fuses and a circuit board. The bomb squad was called, but they did not find any explosive material in the watch.

A sergeant from the sheriff's office said that the suspect had every component that was necessary to create a trigger mechanism, but that the watch was not one. In addition to the suspicious materials, the suspect was also reportedly wearing boots that were too large for him that were stuffed with homemade insoles and a shirt that had a built-in tourniquet in the sleeve portion of it.

The suspect was arrested pursuant to a state penal code section that reads, "a person who possesses any substance, material, or any combination of substances or materials, with the intent to make any destructive device or any explosive without first obtaining a valid permit to make that destructive device or explosive, is guilty of a felony." The suspect stated that the watch was an art project that he had completed.

When a suspect faces serious allegations of a crime, he or she may benefit from seeking the advice of a criminal defense attorney. A criminal defense attorney can help look for holes in the prosecution's case while determining the most effective ways to build a defense.

Source: The Middletown Press, "California man had bomb materials in his watch, sheriff's office says," Nov. 17, 2012

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