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Traffic stop leads to explosive devise

8/3/2011, 6:12 p.m.

INGLEWOOD, Calif.--A 27-year-old Los Angeles man was in Inglewood jail without bail for possession of an improvised explosive device, authorities said.

Leonardo Cejas Vargas was arrested in a traffic stop near Hardy Street and Eucalyptus Avenue on Saturday at 10:20 p.m., Lt. James D. Madia of the Inglewood Police Department said.

Vargas was in possession of methamphetamine and what at first glance appeared to be paraphernalia used to smoke the stuff, Madia said. The device was a glass tube with a bulb on the end.

Then officers saw it had a fuse protruding from an opening in the bulb and called the sheriff's arson-explosives detail. They confirmed the device was an improvised explosive device that had 15 to 20 times the amount of pyrotechnic powder that an M-80 firecracker has.

Detonation at a close range would likely cause serious injury and could even be fatal, he said.
Vargas could face up to 7 years in prison for possessing such a device.