Former classmates of a Carlmont High School graduate who was arrested Friday in Pennsylvania after police found a homemade bomb and marijuana plants in his apartment described him Monday as quiet but not alienated.
Vladislav Miftakhov, 18, a student at Penn State's satellite campus in Altoona, Pa., has been charged with possessing a weapon of mass destruction, risking a catastrophe, possessing prohibited offensive weapons and recklessly endangering another person, along with several drug-related offenses, according to a press release from the Altoona Police Department. The Russian citizen is in jail with bail set at $500,000.
Carlmont senior Tristan Gasperian, 18, said he was surprised to hear the news about Miftakhov, who graduated from the Belmont high school in June 2013.
"He was always the reserved type, but it wasn't like he was antisocial," Gasperian said. "He never talked about hurting other people."
But Gasperian did recall that on one Fourth of July, Miftakhov was fixated on setting off fireworks.
"Fireworks were a big thing with him," he said.
Carlmont senior Phillip Taylor-Weber, 17, said he was on a boxing team with Miftakhov two years ago and found him to be easygoing.
"He was cool. He was quiet," Taylor-Weber said.
Officers originally went to Miftakhov's apartment less than two miles away from the college campus in Altoona to check into a reported marijuana growing operation, according to police.
After Miftakhov consented to a search, officers found bomb-making materials inside a suitcase, including a "small aluminum container with an exposed fuse and a smaller plastic container also with an exposed fuse," according to a police report obtained by The Altoona Mirror and posted on the newspaper's website.
Miftakhov told investigators he purchased the bomb-making materials through Amazon.com in recent weeks and constructed the devices in his room. He told one officer he wanted to "blow things up" and later clarified to another officer that he planned to set the bombs off in a remote field, according to the police report.
He had experimented with similar explosives in California, the teenager also told police.
The devices were dismantled by the Pennsylvania State Police bomb squad and federal agencies were notified, according to the Altoona Police Department.
Five marijuana plants, a scale and marijuana seeds were also removed from Miftakhov's apartment by police.
Miftakhov's Penn State roommate, Andrew Leff, told the Altoona Mirror that Miftakhov had recently set off three "mini-bombs" outside their apartment but he had considered him more "impulsive" than dangerous.
No one answered the telephone at an address listed for Miftakhov in San Carlos. His Facebook page lists his current city as San Carlos and his hometown as Moscow, Russia.