Russian National, 19, Arrested In Pennsylvania College Town; Police Say Pot Probe Led To Suspected Bomb And ‘Bomb Making Materials’ Inside Suitcase

Vladislav Miftakhov. Source: Altoona Police Department via Facebook.

Vladislav Miftakhov. Source: Altoona Police Department via Facebook.

The Altoona Police Department (Pa.) is reporting on its Facebook site that officers have arrested a Russian national after a suspected bomb and bomb-making materials were found in a suitcase in his apartment.

A Pennsylvania State Police bomb squad “safely deconstructed” the device, the Altoona department said, adding that “appropriate Federal Agencies were notified and are assisting with our investigation.”

Vladislav Miftakhov, 19, of North 9th Avenue in Altoona, was arrested, the department said.

Altoona is a college town of about 46,000 in semirual Blair County, situated in South Central Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania State University has an Altoona campus with an enrollment of 3,861. The Altoona Mirror is reporting that the suspect is listed as an engineering student at the campus.

The Altoona Police Department said officers were “investigating a reported marijuana grow operation” when the device and companion materials were found.

“Miftakhov, a Russian Citizen, told investigators he purchased the bomb making materials through the internet over the past several weeks,” the Altoona department reported on Facebook.

He was charged with Possessing a Weapon of Mass Destruction, Risking a Catastrophe, Possession with Intent to Deliver – Marijuana, Possessing Instruments of Crime (2 counts), Prohibited Offensive Weapons, Incendiary Devices, Recklessly Endangering Another Person, Possession of Controlled Substances, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, the department said.

Miftakhov was taken to Blair County Central Booking for arraignment, the department said.

Just three days ago, on Jan. 22, Altoona police arrested a man who resided on nearby North 5th Avenue. In that case, Antony Ross Williams, 25, was arrested on charges of peddling heroin and possessing a stolen 9mm Smith & Wesson handgun.


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