TSA Screeners Confiscate "Suspicious" Cupcake But Apparently Overlook C-4-Carrying Serviceman on First Trip

While TSA screeners had no problem quickly confiscating a “suspicious” cupcake from a traveler in Las Vegas over the holiday break, screeners at another airport apparently overlooked a serviceman carrying something much more deadly on the first leg of a trip.

It took until a planned return flight home on New Year’s Eve for TSA screeners in Midland, Texas to spot Trey Scott Atwater’s carry-on bag that happened to have deadly C-4 explosives.

The North Carolina-based serviceman returned home from his third deployment in Afghanistan in April as a demolitions expert. Expressing surprise to officials in Midland, Atwater claimed that he didn’t remember that any C-4 was in the bag and that he hasn’t used it since returning from overseas.

But, according to the criminal complaint, Atwater didn’t initially mention his run-in with the TSA on his trip to Midland from Fayetteville, N.C.

Screeners at that airport found a military smoke grenade in Atwater’s bag , but only “admonished” him before sending him on his way, apparently missing the C-4 in the process. There was no word whether screeners in Midland found any blasting caps necessary to actually dentonate the explosive.

Atwater is still in custody in the Midland County Jail and is expected to have an initial court appearance today.

Let’s hope the U.S. military is keeping a better track of explosives in Afghanistan and that Atwater’s incident is a unique case.

Posted by Brent Dirks on Jan 03, 2012

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