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CHAMPION Explosive-device case studied



Published: Wed, January 16, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



The boys said they were going to use the explosive device to blow up a tree stump.

By PEGGY SINKOVICH

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

CHAMPION -- Officials haven't decided whether two juveniles and one adult will face charges of possessing explosive devices.

Police Chief Dennis Steinbeck said he spent most of his afternoon Tuesday talking to two 16-year-old boys and the father of one of the youths concerning an explosive device that was found in the yard of a Chapel Hill Drive home.

"We are conferring with the prosecutor and will decide what, if any, charges will be filed," Steinbeck said. "Right now no one has been arrested."

Steinbeck said the two boys were friends.

What happened: "They were in the garage of the one boy's home and they found these explosive devices in a box in the garage," Steinbeck said.

"They were going to blow up a tree stump when they realized that the explosive may be too dangerous. So the one boy, who lives on Chapel Hill Drive, put the explosive in his trunk and drove home."

When the boy got home Monday, his mother discovered the explosive in the car and called police, reports state.

The boy first told police that he found the device lying on a residential street near his home, Steinbeck said.

"We talked to the boys again on Tuesday and they told us what had happened," Steinbeck said.

Source of explosive: Agents with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and members of the Youngstown Bomb Squad said the device contained Iremite, a highly explosive material.

The device is commonly used in gas well drillings, said Joe DeMatteo, of the bomb squad.

"We found out that the father of the one boy used to work in coal mines and he had some of this stored in his garage," Steinbeck said. "When they moved to Ohio, the box came with them and he forgot that he had the devices."

The bomb squad detonated the one device Monday and then four others Tuesday.

"I really want to thank the members of the bomb squad and agents with the ATF," Steinbeck said. "We needed their help and they assisted us."

sinkovich@vindy.com




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