U.S. customs officials release photo of ‘mock IED’ confiscated at Toronto Pearson AirportWendy Alaniz
By David Shum
Web Producer Global News
U.S. Customs and Border Protection released a photograph of a mock improvised explosive device found inside a piece of luggage at Toronto Pearson International Airport, which forced the grounding of a Chicago-bound United Airlines flight for several hours earlier this month.
Joseph Galaska, 58, was charged with one count of mischief after border officers located the mock IED in the pre-clearance area of the airport.
United Airlines flight 547, which was scheduled to depart April 6 at 7 a.m. and arrive at Chicago O’Hare airport at 10 a.m. ET, had its pre-clearance privileges revoked due to the security breach.
Passengers who spent nearly four hours on the tarmac had their plane taxied to an isolation area, where they were eventually searched by American and Canadian border authorities before being released.
Galaska’s wife, Maria Silva, told an ABC News affiliate in Wisconsin that the device was just an alarm clock and that her husband was returning from a trip to Brazil when he was arrested at the airport.
“He loves this kind of souvenir,” Silva said. “He used to be a tool-and-die maker. He brought one back for his friends before and had no problem.”
Galaska, who resides in Cudahy, Wisconsin, was released on $5,000 bail with conditions not to possess weapons or explosives.
He returned to the United States last week and is scheduled to be back in court on April 24.