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Press Release

Federal Criminal Complaint Charges PSU-Altoona Student From Russia With Making Unregistered Destructive Devices

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Pennsylvania

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. – A college student from Russia has been charged in the Western District Pennsylvania for allegedly making two destructive devices that were found in a suitcase in his rented apartment on the Penn State Altoona campus.

U.S. Attorney David J. Hickton of the Western District of Pennsylvania made the announcement.

Vladislav Miftakhov, 18, a legal permanent resident of the United States, was charged in federal court in Johnstown, Pa., with possessing and making an unregistered destructive device.

According to accusations contained in the criminal complaint, Miftakhov constructed the devices using Magnesium, Potassium perchlorate and an aluminum container, which he purchased and had shipped to his residence. The two devices found in Miftakhov’s apartment on Jan. 24, 2014, qualify as destructive devices as defined by federal law and therefore are required to be registered in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record (NFRTR). The defendant does not have any firearms registered to him in the NFRTR.

The investigation is continuing.

The law provides for a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, a $10,000 fine or both.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, with assistance from the Pennsylvania State Police, the Blair County District Attorney’s Office and the Altoona Police Department, conducted the investigation leading to the federal charges against Miftakhov. Assistant U.S. Attorney James T. Kitchen is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The charges contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated July 14, 2015