Houston Community News >> Student Caught With Dynamite in his Luggage Found Guilty

10/5/2006 Houston -- A U.S. tourist who told airport inspectors that dynamite in his bags was a souvenir from South America has been charged with breaking two security laws and could face up to 10 years in prison and steep fines.

A grand jury returned a two-count indictment charging Howard MacFarland Fish, 21, with carrying an explosive on an aircraft and entering an airport in violation of security requirements, U.S. Attorney Don DeGabrielle said in a news release on Wednesday.

Fish, a student at Lafayette College in Pennsylvania, was stopped at Houston Intercontinental Airport on August 25 on his way home from Argentina. Customs inspectors found a small stick of dynamite, a fuse and a blasting cap in his bags.

He told investigators he had picked up the items as souvenirs while visiting a silver mine in Argentina.

Carrying an explosive on an aircraft is a felony carrying maximum possible penalties of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Violating airport security is a misdemeanor carrying a maximum year in prison and a $100,000 fine.

No trial date has been set. Fish is free on $75,000 bond.

(Contributed by Reuters)