ATF investigates ‘not related’ Roswell, Clovis pipe bombs

March 16, 2013 • Local News

The pipe bomb detonated in Roswell last week is not related to two similar devices found recently in Clovis, an investigator with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Fire-arms and Explosives said Friday.

But a series of bomb-related incidents in the past two weeks has federal, state and local agencies investigating several leads.

Officials are not releasing details of the investigations yet and are not ready to disclose any details, said ATF Agent and lead investigator Rafael Martinez, with the ATF in Las Cruces

“There are no similarities. They are totally separate cases,” Martinez said. “We are investigating each case individually.”

A Roswell resident found an explosive device near the corner of Lusk Drive and Washington Avenue sometime after [auth] 3 p.m., March 8, according to Roswell Police.

Once the device was identified as a bomb, Roswell officers contacted New Mexico State Police and a bomb squad was dispatched. The ATF assumed the lead in the investigation following protocol in such an investigation, said State Police Sgt. Jay Blakeney.

Two state police bomb squad experts detonated the device at the site. No one was injured in the explosion, Blakeney said.

The pipe bomb was the second bomb scare in city limits within a matter of days. On March 3, officers evacuated the Roswell Airport following a bomb threat. Officers were unable to locate any explosive device, according to the police report.

Some 100 miles away and within the same time period, Clovis residents dealt with pipe bombs similar to those in Roswell.

Two explosive devices were discovered in Clovis last week. According to reports, the first explosive was found by city employees near the entrance of the city dump March 5. The second was located in the morning hours of March 11 by a resident who told police he discovered it near a street overpass.

The resident carried the bomb to Clovis Municipal Court at 9 a.m. A state police bomb squad evacuated Clovis City Hall while the device was investigated and the bomb was rendered safe.

The Albuquerque Journal reported the first device was described as being a 4- to 6-inch-long steel pipe filled with a smokeless powder propellant and screws. The second was similar in size and constructed of white PVC pipe with caps on the ends.

Pipe bombs are common in rural locations,” Martinez said. “A lot of people like to experiment and stuff. I don’t know if that’s the case with these or not. I can’t go into any of that. I can’t go into any of that.”

Officials ask anyone who finds suspicious objects that might appear to be explosive devices to stay clear of the objects and call local police immediately. Anyone with information about suspicious activity in Roswell is asked to call police at 9-1-1 or 624-6770, or Crime Stoppers at 888-594-TIPS (8477).

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