MIDLAND, Texas – Prosecutors filed a motion to dismiss charges against U.S. soldier Trey Scott Atwater after he was arrested following his attempt to board a flight from Texas to North Carolina with explosives in his luggage.
Atwater, 30, was detained Dec. 31 at Midland International Airport in Texas when Transportation Security Administration agents found C-4 explosives in his carry-on luggage.
The Fort Bragg-based sergeant identified himself as a demolitions expert with the army's 7th Special Forces Group who had recently returned from Afghanistan and told investigators that he did not know the explosives were in his bag.
He said it was standard procedure for him to carry at least two blocks of the explosive on a mission. He later appeared before a federal court in January and was released on a $50,000 bond.
Prosecutors filed a motion to dismiss the charges Friday after an FBI investigation into the case found there was no evidence to prove that Atwater knew he was carrying the explosives.
A statement released by U.S. Attorney Robert Pitman stated that the FBI investigation confirmed Atwater was an army demolitions expert who served three tours in Afghanistan.
"The investigation corroborated his claims that the C-4 had been placed in his pack in Afghanistan, and he had forgotten that they were there" when he tried to board the plane, the statement read.
The investigation also found that Atwater was an exemplary soldier, with "nothing in his records [which] raises questions about his [psychological] stability."
Despite the motion to dismiss the criminal charges, Atwater is still likely to face disciplinary action from the U.S. Army, the statement added.