Special Report on Massive Theft of Explosives

Four Arrested in Connection with Explosives Heist

All Explosives Reportedly Recovered

24 December 2005: Federal authorities announced yesterday that four men - including two brothers with significant criminal histories - were arrested in connection with the theft of theft of approximately 500 pounds of explosive material and devices from Cherry Engineering, a research facility in New Mexico earlier this month. Brothers David and Les Brown were charged with possessing the stolen explosives; initial news reports stated that some of the explosives were recovered near Durango, Colorado, while later reports indicated that “all of the explosives were recovered just South of Bloomfield in Ignacio, New Mexico.” The identities of the two others in custody - and a fifth person still being sought have not yet been released.

Interestingly, Wayne Dixie of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) stated publicly that the suspects “didn’t know what they had.”

The Northeast Intelligence Network is continuing the investigation into this matter.

Previous: Largest Theft of Explosives in U.S. in Last Decade Under Investigation

19 December 2005: Federal investigators, including those from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives are investigating the theft of approximately 500 pounds of explosive material and devices from Cherry Engineering, a research facility in New Mexico. The theft of about 170 pounds of the plastic explosive known as “C-4,” about 250 pounds of a special, flexible - and virtually undetectable - “sheet explosives,” blasting caps and approximately 2,500 detonators was discovered last evening. Reports indicate that the explosives were the intended target of burglars, who used a torch bar to break into the containers that housed the explosives and remove the material.

The theft is one of the largest reported cases from a facility in the United States within the last decade. Cherry Engineering is a company owned by Chris Cherry, a long-time senior explosives scientist for Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico.

REFERENCE: “SHEET EXPLOSIVES:”  Known by many trade names, such as Metabel, Deta sheet, Series 1000 - PETN sheet explosive, and Series 2000 - RDX sheet explosive. These plastic bonded explosives have a very high brisance and detonating velocity. Sheet explosive is in most cases the explosive of choice for the tactical loading of the HYDRO CUT Entry and Gun Port Frames. Sheet explosive is supplied in North America in rolls which are a standard 10” wide. Depending on the thickness of the sheet explosive it is supplied as two X 10 pound rolls per box, or two X 20 pound rolls per box.

Other Thefts: Radioactive Material Stolen In Statesville, NC

15 December 2005: Two stainless steel tubes containing a total of two millicuries of Americium 241 was stolen from a locked Siemens Medical Solutions USA vehicle last Friday while it was parked at a restaurant in Statesville, NC. The theft was reportedly discovered and reported this past Monday. According to the state Radiation Protection Section, residents in the area have been advised that the material, if handled improperly, can pose a potential health and safety risk. The radioactive sealed source is used for quality control testing of equipment in nuclear medicine facilities.

Siemens Medical Solutions is offering a thousand-dollar reward for the return of the sealed source.