A man was arrested for telling a TACA ticket agent that he had dynamite in his luggage, which prompted the partial evacuation of Concourse J at Miami International Airport on Monday, Miami-Dade Police said.
Alejandro Leon Hurtado, 63, a doctor from Guatemala, faces a charge of false report bomb/explosives at airport, the arrest affidavit said. It wasn't immediately known if Hurtado had an attorney.
The ticket agent had just accepted Hurtado luggage, when he asked him about whether it contained hazardous materials.
Hurtado answered that he had dynamite in the baggage, and the ticket agent asked him again if he had dynamite in his bag, and he replied that he did and started laughing, the affidavit said.
"Once the Defendant was told that police were going to be called the Defendant stated that he was joking," the affidavit said.
Hurtado admitted he did say he had dynamite in his bag, but that it was a joke.
Hurtado was in custody on an immigration hold Monday night, according to online Miami-Dade Corrections records.
The bomb squad was called in and his luggage was cleared. But the airport operations were disrupted and passengers were made to evacuate a part of it for more than an hour.
"The second level ticketing areas for Avianca, TACA, LAN and Caribbean Airlines, one nearby TSA checkpoint, and the surrounding areas on the first and third levels of Terminal J were evacuated at 12:30 p.m. because of a suspicious passenger and item," said airport spokesman Greg Chin in a statement.
The concourse services international and domestic flights.
One Avianca flight was delayed by an hour. A few international arrivals were also delayed from entering the concourse.