Man Insists Explosives Were No Threat To DC Apartment Complex

5:17 PM, Jun 2, 2010   |    comments
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WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA) -- Friends believe he was just looking for some big explosions for the 4th of July. But federal agents say 61 year old Laquinn Williams had enough explosives in his Northeast DC apartment complex to blow it apart.

Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives say they also found enough professional grade pyrotechnics in his vehicle to turn it into a truck bomb.

Neighbors say they had no idea that stored in the apartment below were enough professional grade fireworks to put on a show nearly as big as the Fourth of July on the National Mall.... or a disaster like the one in Vienna, Virginia a few years ago.

"According to our explosives experts, it would have put on a heck of a show. And it would have put on a heck of a show in that apartment," says Mike Campbell of BATFE's Washington Field Office. "Luckily it didn't go off."

Federal agents say the investigation started with undercover buys of box after box ..... thousands of dollars worth of fireworks ... and a number of large calibre handguns.

They traced the seller back to an apartment complex on 44th Street, NE, where a man in the downstairs apartment declined to give his name, but looks an awful lot like the suspect.

"It's flash powder. It's not tnt, it's not C4, it's not dynamite per say," said the man from behind the screen door. "It's flash powder."

The man says authorities are overreacting to the Times Square car bomb and just picking on him. But federal agents say they found some 20 cases of explosives in William's vehicle. "With that amount, it would have almost been a large vehicle bomb... like a truck bomb."
Authorities are not alleging that Williams is a terrorist or that he intended to hurt anyone. But they do say all those fireworks in an apartment and a car were extremely dangerous.

Williams is charged as a felon in possession of explosives and firearms.

Written by Bruce Leshan

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