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Consultant Skip Pile Arrested at Logan Airport

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BOSTON Skip Pile, chairman of communications consultancy Pile and Co., was arrested yesterday at Logan International Airport here and charged with possessing and transporting a "hoax device" after a security screener found an inert, World War II-era grenade in his laptop computer case during an X-ray search.

The grenade was deemed to be harmless upon inspection.

Pile was arraigned in East Boston District Court and released without bail. A pretrial hearing is set for March 27. If convicted, he faces 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

Pile could not immediately be reached, but he told The Boston Globe the grenade is a paperweight, adding, "There is nobody to blame but myself" for the episode.

The consultancy is currently overseeing high-profile agency reviews for America Online and the American Legacy Foundation's national anti-smoking program.