JOHNSTOWN, Pa. - A former central Pennsylvania college student has been sentenced to two years in prison for building bombs without a federal license in his off-campus Pennsylvania apartment.
Vladislav Miftakhov, 19, of San Carlos, Calif., was sentenced Friday in federal court on a guilty plea to the charge last summer.
Police searched his apartment after a report that he was growing marijuana in the unit and found pot plants along with bomb-making materials, including an unexploded device containing about a half-pound of volatile chemicals.
"I apologize for my reckless actions," Miftakhov told the judge, adding that he wanted to put the matter behind him.
Public defender Christopher Brown contended that much of the legal scrutiny the case received was fueled by the Boston Marathon bombings nine months earlier. He said his client's actions stemmed not from religious belief, but rather from having come from a family of scientists and developing a fascination with rockets from an early age.
"This is a bright man," Brown said, "who has learned a very hard lesson."
U.S. Attorney John J. Valkovci Jr., however, rejected the argument, and noted that Miftakhov had detonated an explosive in a park, rousing the neighbors, and had acknowledged to police that he wanted to "blow things up."