MIA Bullet Bomb Scare Suspect Will Flee: Feds

Orville Braham was headed to Jamaica from Boston when his luggage exploded

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A passenger is in custody after his luggage explodes and FBI agents say the man was carrying hazardous cargo.

    The FBI has identified the man who was arrested Tuesday after TSA officials said his luggage contained volatile ammunition parts, which caused his bag to explode just before it was about to be loaded on a plane.

    Orville Braham, 37, had 500 to 700 bullet primers in his luggage. Primers are considered the "spark plugs" of a bullet and ignites the gun powder, projecting it toward the intended target.

    Federal prosecutors argued Wednesday that Braham should be held in detention until trial because he is a high flight risk. He was headed to Jamaica when the bag exploded.

    MIA Bomb Scare

    [MI] MIA Bomb Scare
    A passenger is in custody after his luggage explodes and FBI agents say the man was carrying hazardous cargo.

    Officials originally said the exploding bag was caused by a hairspray aerosol can.

    The Miami-Dade bomb squad was called to the airport around 11:30 a.m. after a baggage handler said he was taking luggage to an American Airlines plane that had just arrived from Boston and a bag exploded, sending pieces of metal flying.

    The FBI confirmed the passenger and the exploding checked bag -- as well as a second bag, also containing hundreds of primers -- got on the flight in Boston and the luggage was being transferred to another flight headed for Jamaica.

    The 148 original passengers from Flight 2585 had already departed the plane before the incident.

    Officials believe when the baggage handler sat the bag down on the ground, it caused one of the bullet primers to rupture and explode, which ignited a chain reaction among the other tiny pieces of metal.

    The worker was not seriously injured, but the words "explosion" and "airplane" can't be used in the same sentence without the terror alert going up a few notches. Officials took one of the baggage handler's shoes, which had a piece of metal lodged in it, and called in the bomb dogs.

    After clearing the tarmac, investigators determined there was no bomb on board, but instead one of the passengers would have to answer for the hazardous cargo.

    "Local law enforcement disrupted the bag and determined that it contained firearm parts," a TSA statement read. "The passenger is currently being interviewed by law enforcement.”

    While it is legal to have a gun and ammunition in your checked bags, it is illegal to pack primers or percussion caps.

    According to an FBI report, the bag also contained components of a disassembled ammunition loading press, which is used to assemble component parts of ammunition.

    At first Braham denied having anything in his bag that was explosive, but eventually admitted to packing the primers, which he said were there from a gun show he attended in 2009, adding that he had put them in the suitcase to keep them hidden from his kids.

    The FBI, however, believes there is "probable cause" that Braham knowingly packed the primers without notifying the proper authorities.

    Braham faces federal charges of traveling in interstate commerce without a license to carry ammunition. The judge set a bond hearing to see if he gets bail for next Tuesday.