A metal canister in the luggage of world-famous Texas scientist, Thomas C. Butler, caused chaos at the Miami International Airport on Thursday, triggering a bomb scare, and causing an evacuation of the entire airport; which remained closed for seven hours.
Butler, who was traveling from Saudi Arabia back to Texas, is currently being questioned after airport screeners thought the canister in his luggage resembled a pipe bomb. Airport screeners thought the canister resembled a pipe bomb. Although there was no trace of explosives in the canister, it was sent to the FBI lab for additional testing.
Butler is most famous for being charged with smuggling plague bacteria into the U.S. in 2003.
NY Daily News: Butler, 70, made headlines when he was arrested in 2003 after the scientist reported 30 vials of plague were missing from his lab at Texas Tech University, according to NBC. He was accused of illegally transporting plague samples, theft, embezzlement and fraud.
He was found guilty of exporting the vials, lying to federal agents and stealing research funds. He served approximately two years in jail. Later Butler was acquitted of illegally exporting the plague vials.
Butler served two years in prison for exporting the vials; but was eventually acquitted of the charges. He is currently cooperating with authorities who have been questioning him over the content of the canister.
Pipe bombs, Plague, and Planes? I’m seeing an action blockbuster in Thomas C. Butler’s future.