Olentangy students charged with making bombs

DELAWARE COUNTY, OH (WCMH) — Two high school students in the Olentangy school district have been charged with possession of bomb-making materials.

According to the Columbus Division of Fire, on June 15, multiple law enforcement agencies, along with the Columbus Fire Bomb Squad were called to Arrow Feather Lane in Delaware County after resident Mark Hofacker found an improvised explosive device attached to a fire extinguisher and floating in a retention pond. “It was the size of a closed fist and had a fuse on it that had apparently already been lit but when they threw it in the water it went out,” Hofacker said.

Batallion Chief Steve Martin says Bomb Squad members rendered the explosive safe and an investigation into the incident began. “Kids will throw large firecrackers or M-80’s in water,” Martin said. “And I think that’s what this was-much larger, much more dangerous than an M-80 but I think that was the intent.”

A local high school student was identified as a suspect the same day. A search warrant of his home resulted in the discovery of approximately 15 other improvised explosive devices, approximately 5 pounds of explosive powders and many other components of explosives and improvised explosive devices, according to firefighters. The student also has a YouTube Channel with a playlist of instructional videos for making homemade fireworks.

“The variety and quantity of different explosives that were in this apartment would have definitely destroyed the unit if not the entire third floor,” said lead investigator Mike DeFrancisco.

According to the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office, the two arrested were going to be 10th graders at Olentangy Orange High School.

“We think they were probably pretty intelligent kids that were looking to have some fun and probably did not realize the danger that they were putting themselves or their neighbors or their families in,” Chief Martin said.

The case remains under investigation, and according to Columbus Division of Fire Kevin O’Connor, possible charges are pending against other students who may have been involved.

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