Nine people could face more than $13,000 in fines after authorities said the group tried to sneak a fake bomb through airport security and got caught by Transportation Security Administration officers.
The incident began Thursday at a TSA checkpoint in Terminal One at Newark Liberty International Airport. Investigators said that while some members of the group attempted to carry the bag through security, others "covertly" filmed the encounter. Officers said that the individuals claimed to be affiliated with a television show but could provide no media credentials. The item in question was packed in a roller bag and included a motor, wires and PVC pipes.
CBS2, citing unnamed sources, reported that the group was associated with the CNBC show Staten Island Hustle. The television station said that the production company affiliated with the show, Endemol Shine North America, released a statement late Thursday.
"We are looking into the details of what happened as a matter of priority and are in contact with relevant authorities on the ground," the statement said. "While this process is ongoing we are unable to comment further but in the meantime, we sincerely apologize for any disruption caused."
Ruben M. Montenegro, 44, of Staten Island, N.Y.; Samuel Micah Berns, 39, of Hollywood; Jacob M. Towsley, 34, of Portageville, N.Y.; Michael L. Palmer, 51, of Staten Island; William Oaks, 36, of Brooklyn; Philip K. Nakagami, 26, of Jersey City, N.J.; Carlos F. Gonzalez, 33, of Queens, N.Y.; Timothy Duffy, 34, of Sparta, N.J.; and Adolfo Lacola, 51, of Staten Island, were arrested by Port Authority police. Charges include interference with transportation and conspiracy. They were released pending a court appearance.
In addition, the men could face civil penalties of more than $13,000 for each violation of the TSA's security regulations.