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In Court: Midland Soldier Accused Of Packing C-4 In Luggage

Photo courtesy of Midland County Sheriff's Office

A Green Beret trained in demolitions is scheduled to appear in a federal courtin Midlandtoday to face charges that he tried to smuggle more than two pounds of C-4 explosives onto a plane on New Year’s Eve.

According to an affidavit filed in U.S. District Court, Trey Scott Atwater told an FBI agent that his Special Forces Team was required to carry at least two blocks of C-4 on any operation.

Atwater said when he left Afghanistan, he forgot he left the C-4 in his bag. Then when he was packing for the holidays, he just grabbed the bag from his garage to use for his carry-on luggage.

But the FBI agent, Cory Richardson, says he later learned that a TSA agent found a smoke grenade on Atwater when he was travelling through the airport in Fayetteville, North Carolina on Christmas Eve. Agent Richardson says that led him to believe Atwater knowingly intended to bring C-4 on board his flight.      

Members of Atwater’s family insist the 30-year-old is a family man and an American patriot.

“He was a friend of mine growing up and we never got in trouble, we were always playing like kids would do,” Atwater’s childhood friend Charles Winsted told West Texas CBS affiliate KOSA. “As we find out about what actually happened and what the details were I’m sure it'll shed some light and ease a lot of people.”

Nathan Bernier is the transportation reporter at KUT. He covers the big projects that are reshaping how we get around Austin, like the I-35 overhaul, the airport's rapid growth and the multibillion dollar transit expansion Project Connect. He also focuses on the daily changes that affect how we walk, bike and drive around the city. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @KUTnathan.