A man whose suitcase exploded Tuesday when he arrived from Boston at Miami International Airport is facing a federal charge of improperly transporting ammunition, the FBI says.
Thirty-seven-year-old Orville A. Braham was traveling on American Airlines Flight 2585, which landed in Miami at about 11:40 a.m., according to a sworn statement filed in federal court in Miami by an FBI agent.
When an American Airlines baggage handler moved one of Brahamís two checked bags and placed it on the ground, it exploded, causing shrapnel to become lodged in the handlerís shoe, the affidavit supporting the criminal charge said.
Officials discovered that the suitcase exploded because of the ammunition primers. The primer is the component of a bullet that sparks the explosive charge, the affidavit said.
Brahamís other checked suitcase also had hundreds of ammunition primers concealed in the lining. It also contained components of an ammunition reloading pressówhich is used to create ammunition, the affidavit said.
Braham initially denied having anything explosive in his luggage, but then admitted to having 700 ammunition primers that he bought at a gun show in Holbrook, according to the affidavit.
He said he used to reload ammunition as a hobby and had hidden primers and reloading press components in a suitcase in the basement to keep them away from his children. He said he didn't remember the items were in the suitcase when he packed for his trip, which was to ultimately end in Jamaica.
The affidavit said Braham was interviewed before the discovery of his second suitcase. An FBI spokesman said today the agency had no comment beyond the affidavit.
The incident had no connection to terrorism, FBI spokesman Mike Leverock told The Associated Press on Tuesday.
Although transporting ammunition or guns is not illegal, passengers must declare that they are transporting them when they check their luggage. Ammunition must also be stored in a case or box specially designed to carry it, according to the Transportation Security Administration.
No one returned a message left this afternoon at a number listed for Braham in the town of Stoughton.
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