Army Private Busted Trying to Board Airplane With C4 Explosives

Categories: News
A Colorado-based Army private getting explosives training in Yuma was arrested yesterday after police say he tried to board a commercial airplane while carrying explosives.

U.S. Attorney's Office spokesman Robbie Sherwood says Army Private First Class Christopher Eric Wey, 19, tried to board a United Airlines flight from Yuma  to Los Angeles yesterday morning. In his backpack, TSA officials found a can of chewing tobacco with a ball of C4 explosives inside.

Sherwood tells New Times Wey didn't have much of the explosive substance, about a half-ounce, but it was "certainly enough to alert TSA."

Sherwood says Wey didn't have a detonator, so it doesn't appear that he planned to detonate the C4 on the plane.

According to a complaint filed in federal court, Wey was in Yuma to undergo explosives training. He was ultimately terminated from the program for not meeting the course requirements, but not before he had the chance to steal some explosives.

During one training exercise, trainees were allowed to handle C4 before it was detonated by the soldier teaching the course.

Following his arrest, Wey told authorities he noticed a small ball of the explosive substance on the ground. He picked it up, put it in his pocket, and took it back to his hotel room.

Wey told authorities he put the ball of C4 in the tobacco can and packed it in a backpack he later had with him when he tried to board the plane.

He told authorities "I was going to take it home to show my family and then dispose of it."

Bad move -- Wey now faces the possibility of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if he's convicted of the one count each of attempt to carry an explosive on an aircraft and transportation of a stolen explosive with which he's been charged.

Wey was released on his own recognizance today. He's due in court again August 2.

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My Voice Nation Help

C4 is safe.   You use it to heat your food.


I think C4 can only be detonated by electricity or a blasting cap - at least that's what I was told in the Corps during demo training.  I've never heard of or seen C4 get detonated by an impact like a hammer.  It does provide a nice source of heat.  I'm surprised he got caught - I air travel with chew and have never been asked to open a tin. 

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

'due' in court.

C4 is a pliable, plastic like explosive that only explodes by impact, such as the explosion of a detonating device, or by being hit by a hammer or similar striking device. Otherwise C4 is a great fire source and is routinely used to heat cans of rations in military situations.


C4 can only be detonated by a blasting cap   or if one  was to light it on fire and then hit it with a hammer.  Just hitting it with a  hammer or other striking device will NOT set C4 off.

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