NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — At least seven people who said they worked for a TV crew were arrested at Newark Liberty International Airport Thursday, after they allegedly tried to film themselves going through a security checkpoint with a fake explosive device.
The Transportation Security Administration said Port Authority police arrested the group after officers detected a suspicious item in a carry-on bag.
A preliminary investigation indicated that the defendants were all in collaboration and claimed to work for a television network, the TSA said. Some members of the group tried deliberately to carry through the security checkpoint a carry-on bag that with something inside that had “all the makings of an improvised explosive device,” the TSA said.
CBS News obtained photos of the device, which appeared to be composed of wires and portions of a vacuum cleaner.
The group covertly filmed the encounter, the TSA said.
The group did not make it past the checkpoint, because TSA officers caught the item inside the roller bag, the TSA said.
The TSA believes the group wanted to figure out if they could get through the security checkpoint with the item while filming themselves doing so. They did not, and they were arrested on multiple charges and fines by the TSA, the agency said.
Sources told CBS2 the crew was associated with the CNBC show “Staten Island Hustle.” Endemol Shine North America, the production company behind the program, released a statement late Thursday.
“We are looking into the details of what happened as a matter of priority and are in contact with relevant authorities on the ground,” an Endemol Shine North America representative said in the statement. “While this process is ongoing we are unable to comment further but in the meantime, we sincerely apologize for any disruption caused.”
CNBC declined to comment late Thursday.