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Tampa Teen Arrested For Bomb Plot

Frances Vega |
August 17, 2011 | 1:09 p.m. PDT

Executive producer

An expelled student was arrested Wednesday for plotting to blow up his Tampa, Fla high school on the first day of class.

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Creative Commons

Police Chief Jane Castor identified the suspect as Jared Cano, 17. The student had planned to place a bomb at Freedom High School in Hillsborough County, Castor said in a televised comment.

“We were able to foil a potentially catastrophic event the likes of which the city of Tampa has never seen,” Castor said at a news conference.

The L.A. Times reported that authorities heard about the threat through a tip from an unidentified source. Police raided Cano’s home Tuesday, where they found explosive materials and a manifesto with a step-by-step explanation of his plans.  According to Castor, the suspect had planned on killing about 30 students and two administrators.

Cano appeared in court Wednesday morning. Authorities say he faces felony charges of possessing bomb-making materials, cultivating marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of marijuana, and threatening to discharge a destructive device.

The Associated Press reported:

Authorities said Cano had several arrests as a juvenile. Charges have included burglary, carrying a concealed weapon, altering serial numbers on a firearm and drug possession. All had been either dismissed or no action had been taken.

Police Maj. John Newman said Cano had been on a list of juveniles who police checked on from time to time because of their brushes with the law.

"We've been very, very familiar with him," Newman said.

The St. Petersburg Times reported that prosecutors, at a hearing Wednesday, said that when Cano was arrested he repeated his plan to detonate a bomb and cause mass casualties at the school.

The Times reported that Cano tried to speak when he appeared before a judge Wednesday morning but was quickly hushed by a public defender standing beside him.

"The plot wasn't..." Cano said, before the public defender stopped him and told the judge that "he has no comment," according to the Times.

Cano was expelled in April 2010 for a non-school-related incident, said high school principal Chris Farkas. He would have been red-flagged had he tried to go back to the campus.


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