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Bail reduced for suspects in Los Angeles dry ice bomb cases

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Thursday, October 24, 2013 - 10:00am

A judge reduced the bail on Wednesday for the suspects in recent dry ice explosions at Los Angeles International Airport.

Dicarlo Bennett and Miguel Angel Iniguez appeared separately. Bail for Bennett, a 28-year-old baggage handler, was lowered from $1 million to $300,000.

Iniguez's bail was reduced from $500,000 to $100,000.

The two are next due in court November 7 for a discovery hearing.

Police on Friday arrested Iniguez, 41. He was a supervisor of Bennett, who pleaded not guilty on October 17 to two counts of possession of a destructive device in a public place, a Los Angeles Police Department statement said.

The statement said Iniguez, who lives in Inglewood, was booked on suspicion of possession of a destructive device near an aircraft.

On October 13, dry ice in a plastic bottle exploded in an employee restroom, causing a brief shutdown of Terminal 2, the FBI said. No injuries were reported, and the terminal resumed operations after a brief evacuation.

The other incident occurred about 8:30 p.m. October 14 at the Tom Bradley International Terminal, airport police said. Three plastic bottles containing dry ice were found, but only one had exploded, police said. That explosion didn't cause any injuries.

Iniguez and Bennett worked for Servisair, an international aviation ground services provider.

Bennett's defense attorney, Ben Wasserman, told reporters after his arraignment that Bennett was removing dry ice from a plane's holding area because he was told the vapors were dangerous to an animal being transported in the cargo hold.

"His intent in taking the dry ice from the hold was not the intent to make a destructive device," Wasserman said. "One of the other crew members said take the dry ice out or do something with the dry ice because the carbon dioxide is harmful to the animal, so he took the dry ice out."

Bennett allegedly thought the explosive devices were "a game" and "a funny kind of joke," and he had no intent to attack people, police said.

Dry ice, which is carbon dioxide in solid form, is used as a refrigerant for meats and ice cream, especially when shipped in a box. When dry ice becomes warm, it transforms into vapor.

CNN's Michael Martinez and Traci Tamura contributed to this report.

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