A Penn State Altoona Engineering student was arrested last night on multiple charges for possessing a weapon of mass destruction, as first reported by the Altoona Mirror and confirmed with court documents.
The Altoona police arrested 19-year-old Vladislav Miftakhov after they found a suspected bomb and materials to build a bomb inside a suitcase at his residence in Altoona. Miftakhov admitted to buying the materials over the internet over the last several weeks, and the bomb squad was called in to deconstruct the apparatus.
He was charged on ten different counts, including several for marijuana found in the house. They include: possessing a weapon of mass destruction, risking a catastrophe, possessing instruments of crime, prohibited offensive weapons, incendiary devices, recklessly endangering another person, possession of controlled substances, possession with intent to deliver marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Miftakhov is currently being held in the Blair County Prison on a $500,000 bail. A preliminary hearing is set for February 5.
(UPDATE January 26) This story has gone national since we posted it yesterday afternoon, and more details are coming out.
Police found the bomb materials when investigating Miftakhov’s pot growing operation (aside from the bomb, police confiscated five marijuana seedlings and a grow light).They found one pound of atomized magnesium and one pound of Chinese potassium perchlorate along with a package labeled potassium nitrate powder.
Miftakhov said “he was going to blow things up,” when asked what he was going to do with the material.
One of the people who lives in the same apartment building as Miftahkov told WeAreCentralPA that the Russian citizen is “weirdest guy he ever met” and that he “would come into their home and eat their food without asking and say weird things.”
The Altoona Mirror also talked to one of Mitakhov’s roommates, who had this to say.
One of Miftakhov’s apartment mates, Andrew Leff of Bucks County, contradicted Miftakov’s statement that he hadn’t detonated anything in Pennsylvania, saying that during the current semester, Miftakhov had set off three “mini-bombs” just outside their apartment, creating small craters in the ground.
Recently, Miftakhov had showed Leff a bomb made by mixing chemicals in an aerosol whipped cream container, Leff said.
“I said, ‘Dude, you’ve got to get rid of that,'” Leff said Saturday afternoon in the snow outside the apartment.
Miftakhov later told Leff he’d done as suggested.
“[But] apparently he didn’t,” Leff said.
Miftakhov was a “crazy kid” who did “impulsive things,” Leff said.
“He was off the wall,” Leff said. “It’s not surprising to me at all [to learn about the arrest].”
Leff said Miftakhov was a “dumb kid” who did what he did because he was bored.