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LAX dry ice explosions: Worker pleads not guilty

An airport employee accused of setting off dry ice bombs at LAX pleaded not guilty to charges.
October 17, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
An airport employee accused of setting off dry ice bombs at Los Angeles International Airport pleaded not guilty to charges on Thursday.

Dicarlo Bennett, 28, made his first court appearance after being charged with two felony counts of possession of a destructive device in a public place.

"He is very remorseful," said his attorney, Ben Wasserman.

A dry ice bomb in a plastic bottle exploded in an employee restroom at the airport on Sunday, and then another went off outside the Tom Bradley International Terminal Monday. A third bomb was found before it went off. Though no one was hurt, the incident set off a massive security response. The initial concern was that a terrorist may have planted them.

Dicarlo was arrested Tuesday at his Paramount apartment. Investigators say Bennett is not a terrorist, but a ramp supervisor who allegedly confessed to making the bombs for the fun of it.

Wasserman says Bennett obtained the dry ice from a cargo hold, removing it to protect a dog that had been loaded for transport.

"He removed the dry ice from the plane because there was an animal, I think a dog, and there was a question of fumes from the dry ice killing the dog," Wasserman said.

Bennett allegedly told co-workers at Servisair, his employer, that he had the dry ice. Investigators say they are looking for witnesses or possible additional suspects.

"There are videos that are still being obtained from the airport," said prosecutor Sean Carney.

While Bennett faces jail time if convicted, the incident also exposes a potential hole in security: Vendors were leaving behind dry ice, the essential material for the bottle bomb. Airport police have announced a change in policy. Vendors must now remove dry ice from the airport before disposing of it.

Bennett is being held on $1 million bail, but Wasserman says he will seek a reduction in bail. A bail hearing has been scheduled for next Wednesday.

"He had no record," Wasserman said. "He's squeaky clean. I don't even think he's had a ticket in his life."


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