Russian man faces weapon of mass destruction charges in Pennsylvania

8:43 AM, Jan 26, 2014   |    comments
Vladislav Miftakho is charged with possessing a weapon of mass destruction, risking a catastrophe and drug-related offenses.
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(CNN) -- Authorities in Pennsylvania arrested a 19-year-old Russian man Friday and charged him with possession of a weapon of mass destruction, Altoona police said in a written statement.

Police officers were investigating a reported marijuana-growing operation when they discovered a homemade bomb and bomb-making materials in a suitcase, the news release said.

Vladislav Miftakhov, a Russian citizen, was arrested and charged with possessing a weapon of mass destruction, risking a catastrophe and drug-related offenses. He was arraigned Friday and bail was set at $500,000, Blair County corrections officer James McMahon said Sunday.

Miftakhov will next appear in court on February 5. He will be assigned a public defender, McMahon said.

The Pennsylvania State Police bomb squad "safely deconstructed" the device, officials said.

According to the release, Miftakhov told officers that he had purchased materials for the bomb off the Internet.

An independent student newspaper said the Russian native is a student at Penn State Altoona, a branch of the university about 40 miles from the main campus. The Altoona campus has about 3,645 full-time students, according to the school's website.

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