CHARLESTON, South Carolina: State charges will be dismissed against two Egyptian-born students who were stopped last month with what authorities said were pipe bombs because a federal indictment has been put in place, a prosecutor said Tuesday.
I plan to dismiss the charges in favor of federal prosecution, said Scarlett Wilson, state prosecutor for Charleston and Berkeley counties.
Ahmed Abda Sherf Mohamed, 24, and Yousef Samir Megahed, 21, both students at the University of South Florida in Tampa, were arrested on state charges of possession of an explosive device following an Aug. 5 traffic stop.
The men told police they had fireworks in the car and were driving through the area to vacation at a North Carolina beach, authorities said. But Wilson said at an arraignment that the devices were pipe bombs.
Last week, the students were indicted on federal charges of carrying explosive materials across state lines. Mohamed also faces terrorism-related charges for allegedly demonstrating how to use the explosives.
The two are expected to make an initial appearance in federal court in Charleston as early as this week. Wilson said the state charges will be dismissed once plans to move the men to federal custody have been worked out. Associated Press