A U.S. Transportation Security Administration employee discovered a cellphone attached to a container of organic material during a security check on carry-on bags at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport Friday, The Arizona Republic reported.
The police department's bomb squad and the fire department's hazardous-materials crew examined the device and determined the material was not an explosive, the newspaper said.
Luwiza Daman, 51, told investigators an acquaintance gave her the device and asked her to deliver it to an unknown person in Des Moines, Iowa.
Shullu Gorado, 25, located at his Phoenix home, told police he gave the device to Daman after a third person, Shani Asa, 34, gave it to him.
Asa was arrested at his home.
Daman, Gorado and Asa were arrested on suspicion of having a hoax device and conspiracy to obtain a hoax device.
Police said they had not yet determined what the organic material is.