3 arrested, accused of building bottle bombs

kterhune@idahostatesman.comJuly 17, 2013 

— Police say the trio of teenagers drove around Meridian neighborhoods, flinging makeshift explosives at homes.

Brandon Michael Ehle and Riley Scot Thomas, both 18, have been charged with creating the bombs out of plastic bottles filled with drain cleaner and tinfoil. When combined in a container, the ingredients can be explosive, Deputy Chief Tracy Basterrechea said.

A 17-year-old boy was also charged. Police are not releasing his name because he is a minor.

Basterrechea said the suspects have been linked to nine bottles in all. Residents called police beginning at 11:40 p.m. Tuesday night to report the exploding devices being tossed at houses and into garages.

The teenagers were allegedly caught red-handed when an officer, who was in the area investigating the reports of exploding bottles, noticed the suspects’ illegally parked car.

“He came up on them, and they were in the process of making more devices,” Basterrechea said.

The houses appeared to be chosen at random, Basterrechea said. There was no indication that the suspects knew the residents, or were targeting anyone in particular.

No one was hurt in the attacks. Police are still working to determine the dollar value of damaged property. 
“We have to wait and see if there is any damage to any of the vehicles caused by the chemical reaction to the paint,” Basterrechea said.

The teens allegedly also exploded several of the devices in Settlers Pond, he said.

More charges are likely pending, but Basterrechea said he doubted the case would be turned over to federal agencies, as sometimes happens with bomb-possession charges.

Ehle faces two felony counts of possession of a bomb or destructive device, and Thomas faces four.

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