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Man charged with trying to take weapons on U.S. flight

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. authorities have charged a Puerto Rican man with trying to take a stun gun, four box cutter knives, pepper spray and a switch blade onto a flight this week, the Justice Department said on Wednesday.

Jose Pol, who had a ticket for a JetBlue Airways Corp flight from Puerto Rico to Boston, was arrested at Luis Munoz Marin International Airport on Monday after security officers found the items in his carry-on luggage.

"We will continue to investigate this matter vigorously until we determine the defendant's motives in attempting to board an airliner with the dangerous weapons he was carrying," U.S. Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodriguez-VØlez said in a statement.

If convicted, Pol could face up to 10 years in prison.

Also in his luggage were two lighters, a device that gives an electric charge via a wire when a button was pressed, scissors, matches, a flight simulator program and information about New York City, according to an FBI affidavit.

The items were found during a second check after officials detected anomalies during an initial screening of the bags.

U.S. airport screeners have been on heightened alert after a Nigerian man tried to blow up a U.S. airliner on Christmas Day with a bomb hidden in his underwear.

Knives and box cutters were used during the September 11, 2001,

attacks to hijack four U.S. planes, three of which were crashed into the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon near Washington.

(Reporting by Jeremy Pelofsky, editing by Doina Chiacu)

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