A 28-year-old baggage handler accused of leaving dry ice bombs at Los Angeles International Airport in what authorities described as a dangerous "prank" pleaded not guilty Thursday to two counts of possession of a destructive device in a public place.
Dicarlo Bennett allegedly left the explosive devices -- plastic bottles that contained dry ice -- in an employee restroom and on the tarmac at LAX. No injuries were reported, but the emergency response and investigation led to delays for passengers at the nation's third busiest airport.
Bennett works for a company that contracts with LAX to handle luggage, which allowed him to access areas that are restricted to the public. He allegedly placed two dry ice bombs near terminal areas Sunday. One device exploded in an employee restroom and a second went off outside the Tom Bradley International Terminal.
More devices were discovered on the tarmac Monday night, leading to another emergency response.
Bennett was arrested Tuesday at his apartment in Paramount, about 15 miles east of the airport.
Bennett faces up to six years in jail, if convicted. He remains in custody on $1 million bail and is expected to appear in court again Oct. 23.
Investigators ruled out terrorism and characterized the explosions as dangerous pranks.
"It was basically perpetrated out of a desire to construct and experience a device exploding," said Lt. John Karle, LAPD Officer in Charge of Criminal Conspiracy Section Division.
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The dry ice was obtained from a plane, where it was used to cool food and drinks for in-flight service, according to investigators. As a result of the case, dry ice will no longer be disposed of at the airport, said Chief Patrick Gannon, with Airport Police of Los Angeles World Airports. Instead, after flights, the dry ice will be returned to the warehouse or service stations from which it came.
The suspect worked as a baggage handler for Servisair.
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