Longmont Man Charged With Possessing Illegal Explosives
Last Edited: Friday, 22 Jun 2007, 10:37 PM MDT
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LONGMONT — —
A Longmont man accused of keeping explosive chemicals and handguns in his home was charged Friday with 10 counts of possessing illegal explosives and one count of drug possession.
Ronald Swerlein, 50, a retired electrical engineer, was arrested June 17 after local and federal agencies spent the weekend searching his home. Neighbors had reported hearing three explosions at the house three days earlier.
Authorities said they found more than 400 chemicals in Swerlein’s house, including homemade nitroglycerin and MEKP, a volatile chemical that had been stabilized and hidden in the basement.
Officers said they also found model rockets, rocket kits and engines, a launching pad for model rockets, books on homemade explosives, expensive chemistry glassware, a handwritten “to-do” list and warning note, flare guns, a Taser weapon and three metal grenade shells.
They also reported finding magazines from the Animal Liberation Front, which the FBI considers to be a terrorist group.
Swerlein told police he was developing fuel for model rockets. He and his lawyer, Jeffrey Larson, declined to comment when they walked into a Boulder County courtroom Friday.
Larson has said he believes Swerlein’s neighborhood is safe.