Rhode Island: Suspect linked to 2 IED Incidents

TRIPwire, 22 May 2020

On 20 May 2020 at approximately 1430 hours local time, officers from Westerly Police Department (WPD), firefighters from the Watch Hill Fire Department, and technicians from the Rhode Island State Bomb Squad responded to reports of a suspicious device discovered along a fence line of a private residence. Bomb squad technicians X-rayed and rendered safe the device which they determined to be a viable IED containing black powder, nuts and bolts, 22 caliber ammunition, and a fuse. Investigators from the Rhode Island Office of the State Fire Marshal were able to connect the incident to another similar incident that occurred on 26 April 2020, when an IED, described as a pipe bomb, was found in the driveway of a home. A 57-year-old man has been arrested and charged with two counts of placing or falsely reporting a bomb or explosive device. WPD officers conducted a search of the suspect’s home and seized firecrackers, .22 caliber ammunition, nuts, bolts, and other materials, including firearms. WPD officers are also looking into whether the suspect is linked to 11 May incident where a cable utility box, adjacent to the suspect’s home was damaged after evidence determined that the damage may have been caused by an explosive device. Investigations are ongoing.