A 21-year-old Marine who tried to bring live military ordnance onto a plane at Palm Springs International Airport last year was sentenced Wednesday to 30 months probation.
Steven Corey Vella, who was stationed at Twentynine Palms, pleaded guilty last October to one count of unlawfully possessing a destructive or explosive device in a prohibited area for trying to board a flight from Palm Springs to New York with ground burst simulators, smoke grenades, a dummy hand grenade and an inert mortar body, according to court documents. Vella pleaded to a felony count last year, which was reduced to a misdemeanor at sentencing.
The items, some of which are used to simulate explosions, were found in Vella’s luggage on March 4, 2017, by Transportation Security Administration personnel.
He was initially given a misdemeanor citation and released, according to an arrest warrant declaration. Prosecutors filed charges against him three months later.