A man was arrested Tuesday after a Washington State Patrol trooper found a bomb in a stolen car parked at a rest area west of Ritzville.
Sgt. Kris Boness said he spotted the car at 9 a.m. parked at the Schrag rest stop off Interstate 90, 20 miles west of Ritzville, and learned through a computer check that the vehicle had been stolen in Coeur d’Alene on July 1.
After arresting Richard D. Dominguez, 20, who was sleeping nearby, Boness searched the car and found the bomb.
Police said Dominguez is a transient with no known address.
Police also found evidence that could link Dominguez with North Idaho gangs, Boness said, including photos of skinheads and “white power” books.
Police also found a crossbow, arrows, a canister of gunpowder, and a considerable amount of rifle ammunition.
Boness found Dominguez napping in a sleeping bag near the stolen black Chevrolet Chevette. Dominguez was booked into the Adams County Jail and charged with possession of a stolen vehicle.
Boness then evacuated 25 other cars and trucks from the rest area and called for bomb disposal experts from Spokane to disarm the explosive, a steel flashlight packed with gunpowder. The rest stop was closed for several hours.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Earl Hicks said agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms went to the scene and assisted with removal of the bomb.
Hicks said authorities likely would decide today whether the suspect will be prosecuted in state or federal court for possessing the illegal explosive device.
With a remote-controlled robot, the Spokane City/County bomb squad removed the bomb from the car and placed it into a container for disposal.
The explosive team had not yet thoroughly examined the bomb, but said it could project shrapnel 300 feet, according to Sgt. Jim Goodwin of the explosive disposal unit.
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