Police were investigating a suspected marijuana growing operation when they raided an apartment that Vladislav Miftakhov shared with a fellow Pennsylvania State University-Altoona student, the town's police department said in a statement on its Facebook page Friday.
Officers found a bomb inside a suitcase along with "assorted bomb making materials" during the search, the statement said, adding that bomb disposal experts defused the explosive.
Miftakhov, who was born in Moscow and moved to the U.S. when he was four years old, lists his home on his Facebook page as a town in northern California, where his mother and step-father live. Though police reports originally had listed the freshman's age as 19, though he is only 18 years old, the The Altoona Mirror reported Monday.
The student's mother declined to comment to reporters on Monday.
Miftakhov initially told investigators that he had built the bomb "to blow things up," but later said that he only meant to set off the device in a field and never intended to hurt anyone or inflict any significant destruction, a police affidavit said.
The young man's roommate said that Miftakhov had already set off three "mini-bombs" in the yard outside their apartment during this semester, leaving three craters in the ground.
He described the teen as a "dumb" and "crazy kid" who did "impulsive things," but said he was not dangerous, only bored.
Miftakov told investigators he purchased materials to make the bomb over the Internet, police said, CNN reported.
The teenager has also been charged with marijuana possession with intent to distribute, risking a catastrophe, possessing instruments of crime, prohibited offensive weapons, incendiary devices, recklessly endangering another person and additional drug-related charges. He is currently being held on $500,000 bail.
The young man met with a local lawyer who often represents university students pro bono on Monday, The Altoona Mirror reported. The attorney is not yet sure if he will represent Miftakhov, saying that the Russian consulate may become involved because of his citizenship.