FLAGSTAFF -- On Thursday, Aug. 21, at about 10:30 a.m. Coconino County Sheriff's Dispatchers received a call from a man who reported finding a number of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in a mini storage unit located in Valle, Arizona. Deputies learned that the reporting party had been asked to clean out the unit. As he was doing so, he found the explosive devices. Deputies identified what they believed to be two pipe bombs.
Flagstaff Police Department Explosive Device Response Team was brought to the storage units. While technicians were in the process of rendering the explosive devices safe, one of the pipe bombs detonated; fortunately, no one was hurt.
Coconino County detectives with the assistance of the Flagstaff Police Department Explosive Device Response Team, explosive device technicians from DPS, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms served a search warrant on the mini storage unit. The investigators found numerous explosive items which include pipe bombs, improvised explosive devices, shot gun shells with a fuse attached to the primer, and other items.
At this point, investigators have information that the man responsible for these devices is now serving a 10-year prison sentence in New York State for charges related to unlawful possession of explosive devices and firearms on an unrelated incident. The investigation involving the devices found at the Valle mini-storage is still ongoing and no charges have been filed at this time. The suspect's identity has been withheld pending the continued investigation and filing of official charges.