April 27, 2008 in City

Pipe bombs found at Coeur d’Alene home

By The Spokesman-Review

An expanded federal investigation is expected to begin this week into three fully assembled and potentially lethal pipe bombs found Friday in a Coeur d’Alene home’s garage, authorities say.

One suspect, Hoss Dillon, 25, remained in jail Saturday on federal charges accusing him of counterfeiting and possession of explosive devices.

Agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives are expected to become involved in the investigation in an effort to determine where the bomb components came from and if there was an intended target.

The illegal devices, capable of killing someone, were equipped with highly explosive detonation cord, according to a source familiar with the investigation.

The pipe bombs – 6 to 8 inches long – were discovered in the garage after Idaho State Police officers and U.S. Secret Service agents went to a house at 3013 N. Ninth to serve a search warrant in a counterfeit money investigation.

The search was aborted and the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office bomb squad was called to the scene after the explosive devices were found. Neighbors were told to remain indoors.

Bomb squad technicians using a robot initially intended to explode the devices in place. But that plan was called off when the bomb squad determined the pipe bombs were armed with fuses made from det cord, a thin, flexible tube with an explosive core.

The high-speed fuse, used in commercial demolition, explodes rather than burns, and is suitable for detonating high explosives.

After that discovery, the bomb squad decided to summon a portable explosives container from Spokane and used the robot to remove the devices from the garage. They were taken to a county-owned gravel pit near Athol, north of Coeur d’Alene, and detonated by the bomb squad, said State Police Sgt. Tim Johnson.

While police and federal agents were at the scene waiting for the bomb squad to complete its work, Dillon arrived at the home in a car but drove off when he saw officers.

Secret Service agents and State Police officers stopped and arrested Dillon at gunpoint a short distance away.

The bomb squad was on the scene until almost midnight.

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