An Indiana man sent a pipe bomb that killed a 17-year-old Vermonter after an Internet deal went sour, authorities said Friday.
Chris Dean, 35, of Pierceton, Ind., was arrested in Indiana Friday afternoon, one day after a bomb killed Chris Marquis, 17, of Fair Haven, and seriously injured his mother.
An affidavit alleged that Dean felt Marquis defrauded him in a $400 Internet-arranged trade of CB radio equipment.
The affidavit said Dean had been threatening Marquis over the telephone and had said he would come to Vermont today to get the money he was owed.
Dean, jailed in Fort Wayne, Ind., faces federal charges of interstate transportation of explosives with the intent to kill or injure and causing to place an explosive device on an airplane, the FBI said.
The bomb was shipped Wednesday from Mansfield, Ohio, via United Parcel Service, authorities said. They said Dean, a truck driver, had been in Mansfield that day.
UPS had begun investigating Marquis weeks ago after receiving complaints from people who said he had cheated them in deals for CB radio parts and other items, authorities said.
Authorities investigating the blast quickly turned their focus to the Internet, as they learned that Marquis had angered many people in a CB radio chat group.
There are several ominous-sounding messages about Marquis, a high school dropout, posted on a computer bulletin board. One of them even listed his address in Fair Haven.
“If I find someone to pay the 2 way airfare, I will go there and collect everyones money back and give him some severe dental problems to deal with,” said that message. “Are you listening, Chris?? When you see a 6 foot 5 inch dark haired man at your door, you look out ‘cause I will be about to drop the maul … on you noggin dude.”
Another online vendor encouraged customers to buy his CB equipment by promising to be honest, “not like that Chris Marquis.”
Authorities said their investigation was helped by a friend of Dean’s. The man, who was not identified, said Dean had said last Saturday he “was going to send the guy a package in the mail and boy is he going to be surprised.”
This person also said Dean learned off the Internet how to build a pipe bomb. “Dean indicated the directions included the use of a pipe, black powder, a clothes pin and thumb tacks for electrical contacts,” the affidavit said.