FBI says man once convicted in bomb scares accused of new threats at main Puerto Rico airport

Thursday, May 13, 2010

FBI alleges Puerto Rico man made bomb threats

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — A Puerto Rico man previously convicted of making false threats has been accused of phoning in bomb scares to a U.S. airline and the post office at the Caribbean island’s main airport, the FBI said Wednesday.

FBI spokesman Harry Rodriguez said Marvin Santiago Reyes was arrested at Luis Munoz Marin Airport in the capital Monday after he allegedly told a 911 operator that a bomb had been put on an American Airlines plane and another was sent to the airport’s post office.

Authorities said no explosives were found.

But Transportation Security Administration workers had to clear the plane, check all incoming and outgoing baggage with a sniffer dog, and conduct random searches of passengers who boarded the flight bound for Miami.

Postal inspectors secured the airport post office and assisted with the investigation that led to the arrest of Santiago, said Eliezer Julian, a spokesman at the U.S. Postal Inspection Service’s San Juan office.

Santiago, 34, was arrested near an airport terminal shortly after the calls were made. He faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted of making the bomb threats.

Rodriguez said he did not know if there was a clear-cut motive.

In 2005, Santiago was convicted and sentenced to two years in prison for using a pay phone to make multiple bomb threats to postal facilities in Puerto Rico, causing multiple evacuations and delayed mail. No bombs were found.

It was not immediately known if Santiago had a lawyer for the latest case.

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