SALT LAKE CITY — A $5,000 reward is being offered by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office for information regarding the theft of high explosives from a bunker near Hildale.
The theft occurred prior to Aug. 7, when the individual who keeps the explosives bunker discovered that a person or persons had forced their way inside, according to a press released from the ATF. An estimated 70 pounds of high explosives were stolen.
“The theft of explosives is a serious crime and one that presents a danger to the public,” Brian Embley, ATF resident agent in charge, said. “We are asking for the public’s help in our effort to apprehend and convict those responsible.”
The owner of the explosives bunker is properly licensed by the ATF, and the bunker is a legally permitted installation, according to the press release.
Theft and possession of stolen explosives is a federal crime that is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
A $5,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the recovery of the explosives or the arrest and conviction of those responsible.
The ATF can be contacted at 1-888-ATF-BOMB (1-888-283-2662).
The Washington County Sheriff’s Office can be reached at 435-656-6644 or [email protected]. Tipsters may remain anonymous.
This isn’t the first time an incident involving explosives near the Short Creek area has drawn the attention of the ATF. Last year in Colorado City, Arizona, a farm truck owned by an ex-member of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was destroyed by suspected explosives.
That incident is believed to have occurred around Sept. 20, 2014, and ATF investigators believe the truck was destroyed using commercial explosives, Fox 13 reported.
No one was killed or harmed in that incident, as the truck was being kept in a remote part of the ex-FLDS member’s farm at the time.
The destruction of the pickup truck is also believed by some to be an act of retribution against the ex-FLDS owner of the truck by members of the FLDS church. There have been no major updates in the case since it was initially reported.
The ATF is the federal law enforcement agency responsible for investigating violations of the federal firearms and explosives laws and regulations.
A call to the ATF concerning the recent incident was not returned by the time of this publication.
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