Who Is Mark Muffley? Man Arrested Over Explosive in Plane Luggage

Pennsylvania man Mark Muffley was arrested earlier this week by the FBI after an explosive was found in his plane luggage at the Lehigh Valley International Airport, according to reports.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) issued a press release on Wednesday about the incident that took place on Monday, February 27.

TSA became aware of an explosive in Muffley's luggage and contacted the FBI as well as the Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority Police to deal with the issue.

The TSA said: "The device was detected during the routine screening of checked baggage. The suitcase triggered an alarm when it entered the baggage screening unit, which required a TSA officer to physically inspect the contents of the luggage.

"During the inspection, the TSA officer located an item inside the suitcase that appeared to be suspicious and was believed to possibly be a live explosive device."

Man bag
Stock image of a man carrying a duffel bag. Pennsylvania man Mark Muffley was arrested earlier this week by the FBI after an explosive was found in his plane luggage at the Lehigh Valley International Airport, according to reports. Getty

As an act of caution, parts of the airport were evacuated and bomb technicians were called to confirm whether the item discovered was indeed an explosive.

The TSA Federal Security Director Karen Keys-Turner spoke about the multiple authorities that were able to work together in order to protect those in the airport.

She said: "Transportation Security Officers are highly trained and highly skilled professionals at the front line of aviation security who are focused on their mission, and catches such as this illustrate the point.

"This is an example of how the strong partnerships we have established with the airport authority, FBI and local law enforcement came together to ensure the safety and security of the traveling public.

"I commend our entire TSA team at Lehigh Valley International Airport and the professional manner in which this incident was handled."

According to a CNN report, suspect Muffley had checked his baggage on Flight 201 bound for Orlando Sanford International Airport.

When the TSA agents realized there was an issue, Muffley was called via the intercom system and told to report to a security desk. He did not show up and security footage showed him leaving the airport.

The FBI was able to confirm Muffley's home address, as it was the same as on his driver's license and then arrested him at his Lansford, Pennsylvania home early Tuesday morning without incident.

Court documents regarding the incident gave further details on the explosive that was discovered, according to the CNN report.

According to the court documents, agents investigating the bag 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."

"The baggage also contained a can of butane, a lighter, a pipe with white powder residue, a wireless drill with cordless batteries, and two GFCI outlets taped together with black tape."

The former police chief in Lansford, Jack Soberick, told the FBI that he had previously met Muffley as both a suspect and a victim during his time in law enforcement.

Muffley remains in custody and is expected to make his first court appearance on Thursday.

The Director of Public and Government Relations of Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority, Colin Riccobon, spoke to Newsweek about the incident and praised the quick work of authorities in dealing with the situation.

He told Newsweek: "We commend the teamwork, coordination, and quick actions of the LNAA Police Department, Transportation Security Administration (TSA), FBI, City of Allentown and City of Bethlehem first responders, and many other airport personnel in ensuring the safety of our passengers."

Newsweek has contacted the FBI and the Lansford Police department for comment.