Yongda Huang Harris: Smoke Grenade, Hatchet, Body Bags Brought to LAX?

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Tue, Oct 9, 2012 at 2:47 PM

click to enlarge THOMAS W / FLICKR
  • Thomas W / Flickr
What the hell was this guy up to?

Federal authorities today said Yongda Huang Harris, a 28-year-old American who worked in Japan, was caught at LAX last week with -- and we quote -- "a pyrotechnic smoke grenade, three leather-coated billy clubs, a collapsible baton, a full-face respirator, various knives, a hatchet, body bags, a biohazard suit, handcuffs, leg irons and a device to repel dogs."

The suspect was expected in court today:

Harris was charged with transporting hazardous materials, which could carry five years behind bars if he's convicted.

According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, he was sent to a secondary inspection station at LAX Friday after arriving from Japan because "CBP officers observed he was wearing a bulletproof vest and flame-retardant pants underneath his trench coat."

Um. Perfectly normal.

After that, authorities searched his luggage and found the smoke grenade, weapons and other items. Allegedly.

The CBP also notes that ...

... The case affidavit states that when a member of the Los Angeles Police Department's bomb squad conducted an X-ray examination of the smoke grenade, it showed the device fell under the United Nations' explosives shipping classification, meaning it is prohibited on board passenger aircraft. Depending on the conditions when it is ignited, the smoke grenade, made by Commando Manufacturers, could potentially fill the cabin of a commercial airplane with smoke or cause a fire.

Federal authorities say they brought Homeland Security officials stationed in Tokyo in on the case because Huang's been working there.

His permanent residence is in Boston, and he's a naturalized U.S. citizen who was formerly a Chinese national.

Sorry, we never answered the original question: It's not clear what he was allegedly up to. Body bags? WTF.

[@dennisjromero / djromero@laweekly.com / @LAWeeklyNews]

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