A 21-year-old Marine who tried to bring live military ordnance onto a plane at Palm Springs International Airport pleaded guilty Wednesday to possession of an explosive device.

Steven Corey Vella, who was stationed in Twentynine Palms, is slated to be sentenced March 19 on his plea to one felony count of unlawfully possessing a destructive or explosive device in a prohibited area and a misdemeanor count of possessing a prohibited item at an airport.

Vella tried to board a March 4 flight from Palm Springs to New York with ground burst simulators, smoke grenades, a dummy hand grenade and an inert mortar body, according to court documents. The items, some of which are used to simulate explosions, were found in Vella’s luggage by Transportation Security Administration personnel.

He was initially given a misdemeanor citation and released, and remains free on $10,000 bail pending sentencing.

–City News Service

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