Two teens, Tyler Bryce Bontrager and Andrew A. Hoffman, were arrested as they were driving a truck full of explosive devices and bomb parts.
The Hutchinson, Kansas teenagers were stopped by police when they were transporting more than 80 improvised explosive devices (IED) inside the vehicle.
Residents of Hutchinson called police for weeks to report that they heard explosions nearby, The Hutchinson News reported.
THEY WERE DRIVING AROUND WITH BOMBS
Then police got a tip that someone was driving around with the bombs.
“We did some investigative work on it and found out who owned the vehicle,” South Hutchinson Police Chief Dean Harcrow explained. “We located it around State Street and Poplar Street and a traffic stop was initiated.”
When they stopped the vehicle, police found it was occupied by two 18-year-old men who had the 80 IEDs with them.
They also had a plastic tote of bomb-making materials.
“The ATF considered them to be IEDs,” Chief Harcrow said. “They said 72 of them were the equivalent of a quarter stick of dynamite and 10 of them equaled a half stick of dynamite. They were making them at a residence out in the county and selling them individually to other individuals in Reno County.”
The 18-year-olds were ordering bomb-making material off the Internet, including powdered potassium chlorate, aluminum powder in cardboard tubes, and fuses.
The duo had been making and selling IEDs to other people, The Hutchinson News reported.
Chief Harcrow said he suspected the bombs Bontrager and Hoffman had been selling were responsible for the last night blasts recently reported in the area.
The Reno County District Attorney’s Office will determine final charges against the suspects after they have seen the ATF’s report, KMBC reported.
Both teenagers were bonded out of jail the day after their arrest.
The investigation isn’t over.
“We’re still doing follow up,” Chief Harcrow said. “The investigation is ongoing. There might be more people involved, but we’re still looking into that.”
The ATF is looking into the potential of the bombs.