Moses Lake fertilizer bomb was a dud, authorities say

Print Article

Palmer

MOSES LAKE — The potential fertilizer bomb discovered in the backseat of a vehicle belonging to a Moses Lake resident was not functional, according to a spokesperson for the Grant County Sheriff’s Office.

Ryan Palmer, 39, is suspected of stealing fertilizer, diesel, magnesium and other materials over an extended period of time from fertilizer retailer Nutrien AG Solutions to create an explosive device. Palmer advised deputies that he had worked for Nutrien AG Solutions as a chemical driver until 2015, according to the interview. Palmer was arrested Dec. 27 after a routine traffic stop led deputies to discover a potential fertilizer bomb in Palmer’s vehicle.

But an investigation by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives found that the device was not fully constructed and Palmer could not have detonated it, said Kyle Foreman, public information officer for the Grant County Sheriff’s Office. Additionally, the fertilizer stolen by Palmer was not the correct type to manufacture an explosive device.

Palmer originally indicated to deputies that he did not plan to detonate the device, but rather intended to “prove a point” about the company’s lax security. Family members of Palmer’s have indicated his mental health and judgment may have been affected by drug addiction.

“Ryan stated he has frequently gone to Nutrien and just simply walked all over the plant with no one confronting him,” a report on the interview said. “Ryan did this over 20 times to prove how easy it would be for someone that knew how to build a fertilizer bomb to blow up the facility.”

Palmer told deputies that he planned to drive the materials through the Moses Lake facility, then drive to a facility in Tri-Cities and inform management there of what he had accomplished.

Security camera footage from the facility corroborates Palmer’s claim of entering the facility to steal materials, said Foreman.

Officials with the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, which regulates and licenses companies who manufacture, use, store, buy, or sell chemicals such as those handled at the Nutrien facility, said that the agency is working with law enforcement to investigate whether the company’s license will be affected by the incident. Officials indicate this is standard procedure for the agency.

The agency has not currently opened a separate investigation into whether security at the facility endangered the safety of workers, officials said.

Additional precursor materials for the manufacture of a fertilizer bomb were found Jan. 2 by the Grant County Sheriff’s Office and the Washington State Patrol bomb squad in Palmer’s residence, according to a spokesperson for the sheriff’s office. No fully-formed explosive was found on the premises.

Palmer is facing charges of second-degree burglary and attempted threats to bomb, and is being held in the Grant County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bail.

Print Article

Read More Local News

Samaritan, QVMC reach tentative agreement

January 17, 2019 at 5:00 am | Columbia Basin Herald MOSES LAKE — Samaritan Healthcare and Quincy Valley Medical Center have reached a tentative agreement that would allow the two to work more closely together. Samaritan chief executive officer Theresa...

Comments

Read More

Creation of state Broadband Office focus for Inslee

January 17, 2019 at 5:00 am | Columbia Basin Herald OLYMPIA — The creation of a statewide Broadband Office and an initial investment of $25 million into getting broadband into “every nook and cranny” was announced by Governor Jay Inslee on Wednesday. ...

Comments

Read More

Moses Lake resident gets ten years for child rape

January 17, 2019 at 5:00 am | The Royal Register EPHRATA — Moses Lake resident Isabel Rocha Jr., 58, was sentenced in Grant County Superior Court Wednesday to a minimum of ten years in prison for rape of a child in the first degree and child molest...

Comments

Read More

Fistfight turns into gunfight near Moses Lake Circle K

January 16, 2019 at 7:11 pm | The Royal Register MOSES LAKE — At least seven shots were fired from moving vehicles Wednesday evening following a brief fight inside of the Moses Lake Circle K, a gas station and convenience store. A cashier at the l...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(509) 765-4561
PO Box 910
Moses Lake, WA 98837

©2019 Columbia Basin Herald Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X