Authorities say at least seven people who claimed to be working for a TV network were arrested at a New Jersey airport after they tried to film themselves passing a fake explosive device through a security checkpoint. Transportation Security Administration spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein says it happened at Newark Liberty International Airport on Thursday, the AP reports. She says some members of the group attempted to bring the fake explosive device in a carry-on bag, but it was detected by TSA officers and never made it past security.
Farbstein says the alleged TV crew members were arrested on multiple charges and face possible civil penalties by the TSA. Endemol Shine North America, which employs the crew, says the device is a "specially designed suitcase" used to compact clothing and "has no other intended use." Sources tell the New York Daily News that the suspects, part of a reality show called Staten Island Hustle that has been picked up by CNBC, admitted that they planned to film TSA agents' reactions to the fake bomb and the "mass panic" they thought would follow. The charges include conspiracy to create a public alarm. (Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was reportedly turned away from a VIP entrance at the airport the same day.)