Hillsborough County
David Gee, Sheriff
Tampa, FL
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    Release Number: 13-157

    • For Immediate Release:
    • Public Information Office of Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office
    • April 22, 2013
    • Contact Person:
    • Public Information Office : piooffice@hcso.tampa.fl.us
    • 813-247-8060

    K-9s Alert To Pallets At Port Of Tampa

    Specially-trained k-9s discover Magnesium Nitrate Hexahydrate on pallets.
    • Thursday
    • April 18, 2013
    • Time: 10:00 AM
    • Port of Tampa
    • Terminal 3
    • Tampa, FL

    Details:
     

    On April 18, 2013 at approximately 10:00 a.m., a specially-trained K-9 alerted to items on the Port of Tampa Terminal 3 dock near a Royal Caribbean cruise ship. A second K-9 was brought in and also alerted to the same items. HCSO and TPD Explosive Ordnance Disposal technicians (bomb technicians) evaluated the items which were on a metal pallet and did not find any explosives. The K-9s then began alerting to the semi-truck that transported the pallets. Bomb technicians looked through the pallets and cleared all but one pallet to be loaded onto the ship because of the continuous alerts by the K-9s. Later that evening, bomb technicians transported the pallet in a specially-designed trailer to the Sheriff's Office range in Lithia where technicians began to conduct controlled detonations. During the course of this process, technicians observed a white, granular substance on a metal palate that was tested and determined to be Magnesium Nitrate Hexahydrate. This chemical can be used as an ingredient in the construction of an explosive device and is, in fact, one of the chemical compounds that explosive detection dogs are trained to smell. The compound by itself is not explosive; however, its presence on the palate confirms the alert by multiple explosive detection dogs at the port today. The Sheriff's Office has now completed the process of inspecting all of the suspect items. The results of the chemical analysis have been provided to the cruise line through the Tampa Port Authority and will be forwarded to the Department of Homeland Security. Magnesium Nitrate Hexahydrate can be used in fireworks, fertilizers and explosives. The Sheriff's Office has retained samples of the substance, but plans no additional action at this time.
  • Sheriff David Gee
    Sheriff David Gee
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