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Sonora Grandma Made Fake Bomb

Sonora, CA– It was an eventful Friday for Sonora resident Larry Copello who became the focus of national media attention after a device his company makes led to an international terrorist alert.

Larry Copello Inc., based in Sonora, is a four person machine shop that manufactures devices that resemble bombs and test security procedures all over the world. One of Copello’s devices was found Thursday at an airport in Namibia, Africa by Namibian police conducting routine security checks of luggage loading an Air Berlin flight to Munich.

The finding caused a terror alert in Germany and prompted an international investigation which included F.B.I agents visiting Larry Copello’s Sonora office Thursday to ask about the origin of the device.

Copello said he was very impressed by the F.B.I and the bomb technician who responded quickly, professionally and handled the investigation right away. Copello confirmed that the fake bomb was made by his company four or five years ago by his 80-year-old grandmother.

“It was definitely an exciting day, it caught me off guard. I hope that they can find the guy and find out who dropped the ball,” said Copello. “My grandmother hasn’t found out about it yet but I’m going to tell her this weekend. She worked here a long time and loved doing what she did.”

Copello said he was contacted Friday by several media outlets including CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times and a German television station.

To read the MSNBC story click here.

Written by tina.falco@mlode.com