By City News Service
A second airport employee was behind bars today in connection with the Los Angeles International Airport dry ice bomb explosions.
Miguel Angel Iniguez, 41, a supervisor for Serviceair at the airport, was arrested at work about 2:30 p.m. Friday by detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department's Criminal Conspiracy Section, Major Crimes unit and booked on a charge of possession of a destructive device near an aircraft. This was the same charge that Dicarlo Bennett was arrested for on Tuesday, said LAPD Officer Sally Madera.
Iniguez was being held at the LAPD's 77th Street Division jail in lieu of $500,000 bail, according to Los Angeles County jail records.
Los Angeles Airport Police Chief Patrick Gannon thanked the LAPD for its continued work on this case, adding, "Airport police continue to work closely with LAX tenants and airlines to ensure the safe and secure handling of dry ice throughout the airport."
Iniguez was Bennett's supervisor, according to Madera. Servisair, a 59- year-old British company, provides a variety of ground services at 175 airports worldwide. The company is responsible for aircraft cleaning, cargo handling, fueling, and guest services at LAX and is accredited to handle dangerous goods, according to the company's website.
Despite being booked on the same charge as Bennett, Iniguez's bail was set at half of Bennett's $1 million bond. There was no immediate answer from the LAPD about the reason for the difference.
There was also no answer regarding whether Iniguez was arrested for allegedly placing one or more of the dry ice devices at the airport or as an alleged accomplice who supposedly helped Bennett plant the dry ice bombs or looked the other way while it was being done.
The 28-year-old Bennett was charged Thursday with two felony counts in connection with the planting of dry ice bombs at the facility, two of which exploded, disrupting airport operations but causing no injuries.
Bennett was charged with two counts of possession of a destructive device in a public place, which could carry a maximum six-year county jail term, according to the District Attorney's Office.
Bennett, who worked as a ramp supervisor for Serviceair, is suspected of placing a dry ice bomb that exploded in an employee restroom in Terminal 2 Sunday and one that went off outside the Tom Bradley International Terminal on Monday -- with both blasts occurring in areas off limits to the public. A third unexploded device was found Monday near the Bradley terminal.
Bennett was arrested at his home in Paramount Tuesday night on suspicion of being in possession of an explosive or destructive device in or near an aircraft, and has remained in custody at the Metropolitan Detention Center downtown.
Los Angeles police Deputy Chief Michael Downing said Bennett was a "prankster" who thought it was "funny" to set off the device. Investigators said they found no motive other than Bennett's own amusement, insisting there was no connection to terrorism.
LAPD Lt. John Karle said the suspect "was very cooperative," telling investigators he was curious about how such a device worked but he never intended to harm anyone.
Authorities said that as a result of the detonations, the airport was changing its policies for the handling of dry ice. It now must be disposed of using specialized containers and cannot be left at the airport, which is how Bennett allegedly obtained it.