Man Charged With Putting Explosives in Checked Baggage

A 23-year-old man was charged Thursday with bringing military devices and a knife into John Wayne Airport in checked and carry-on luggage.

Patch file photo
Patch file photo
By City News Service

A 23-year-old man, recently discharged from the Marine Corps, was charged Thursday with bringing military devices and a knife into John Wayne Airport in checked and carry-on luggage.

Gregory Thomas Salyer, of Independence, Ky., pleaded not guilty to one count each of placing a destructive device in checked baggage and receiving stolen property and two counts of possession of a controlled substance, along with a misdemeanor count of carrying a switch-blade knife.

Salyer, who remains in custody in lieu of $500,000 bail pending his next court date on Sept. 3, could face up to eight years in prison if convicted, Deputy District Attorney Andrew Katz said.

Salyer checked a large green military duffel bag at the airport containing a non-lethal, sting-ball grenade, two military electric artillery time fuses and a military fuse assembly, Katz alleged. The grenade projects small rubber pellets when detonated.

Salyer, who had planned to take a flight to Denver, also allegedly was in possession of more than 300 steroid pills and about 10 Adderall pills, Katz said.

The military devices were discovered when Transportation Security Administration staff ran the luggage through screening on Tuesday afternoon, Orange County sheriff's Lt. Jeff Hallock said.

Authorities evacuated Gate 21 and escorted all of the Denver-bound passengers, including the suspect, off of Frontier Airlines flight 264, Hallock said.

Military officials, who were summoned to take possession of the devices, said the property was stolen from the military, Hallock said.

Salyer was a field artillery cannoneer who served with Kilo Battery, 3rd Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment, attached to the 2nd Battalion, 11th Marines, according to Marine Sgt. Alfred Lopez.

According to a military publication, Salyer joined the Marines when he was 19 and did stints in Guam, Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Qatar, Cambodia and Kuwait.

Salyer told an interviewer that he planned to enter into a career in law enforcement and to continue his education with a major in business or criminal justice. He said he wanted to apply for jobs with the U.S. Marshals Service, FBI or the Secret Service, according to the article published on the Defense Video and Imagery Distribution System, which carries releases issued by the military.

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