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The man who stole explosives from firms working in North Dakota’s oil patch and stashed them in his home also possessed prohibited guns, over 1,100 rounds of bullets and manuals on creating bombs from scratch, officials close to the matter told The Associated Press.
Court documents shows that an informant for the regional drug task force had tipped off security forces that the suspect, Tyler Porter, planned to sell his homemade explosives for large sums of money, though the identities of his customers are still uncertain.
A district court has charged the 35-year-old with "stealing and possessing explosives, possessing an unregistered rifle and being a felon in possession of firearms,” The San Francisco Gate reported. He faces up to 40 years in prison, if a jury of his peers finds him guilty.
The Associated Press has requested comment from the federal public defender's office representing him, but has not received a response as of yet.
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Evidence suggests Porter robbed two Williston-based oil field service companies of 200 explosives with a cutting torch he used to pry open padlocked storage units.
An affidavit filed at the hands of Special Agent Daniel Mehlhoff from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said an informant told an officer that Porter had stored the stolen goods in his home and wanted to sell them.
After the police arrested Porter on May 13th, they searched his home and car and found many hazardous items and a backpack filled with tools traditionally use to break into locked rooms and facilities. One of the books in his possession was titled “Field Methods for Explosives Preparations” and another was called “Improvised Explosives - How to Make Your Own,” Mehlhoff said.
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The defendant’s transfer to a federal court caused his previous felony theft and drug charges to be dismissed on Wednesday. The agent who filed the affidavit said the case required federal court jurisdiction since the explosives in question had been built outside of the state.
Porter has been convicted of burglary and grand larceny in South Carolina in the past, and in North Dakota, a court found him guilty of assault.
By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com
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Zainab Calcuttawala is an American journalist based in Morocco. She completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of Texas at Austin (Hook’em) and reports on…