ATF offers $5k reward in explosives theft
VICTOR, Mont. - ATF officials and the Ravalli County Sheriff's Office are asking for the public's help in locating recently stolen explosives. Investigators say the stolen materials include roughly 285 pounds of high explosives in the form of ANFO (Ammonium nitrate fuel oil), explosive boosters and dynamite.
The materials were stolen around March 15 to April 1, from a storage facility operated by Ajax Contracting Inc. west of Victor.
"These are dangerous items," said ATF Agent Ken Bray. "That's why they're stored under very stringent regulations. They're used by trained professionals, and any time these are stolen and out in the black market, if you will, we do have concerns."
Officials are offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information that leads to the location of the stolen materials and to the conviction of those responsible for the thefts. Possession of stolen explosives and theft of explosives is a federal offense, and perpetrators would face up to 10 years in prison for the crime.
Those with information are asked to call the ATF hotline at 1-888-ATF-BOMB (1-888-283-2662) or the local Missoula office at 406-721-2611.
The following is a press release from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives:
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and the Ravalli County Sheriff's Office (RCSO) are requesting the public's assistance for information regarding the recent theft of approximately 285 pounds of high explosives from an explosives bunker located near Victor.
Between approximately March 15th and April 1 st , 2014, suspect(s) used forced entry to access an explosives storage facility operated by Ajax Contracting Inc. located west of Victor. The following items were stolen from the storage facility:ANFO (Ammonium nitrate fuel oil) Explosive boosters Dynamite
"The theft of explosives is a very serious crime and a top investigative priority for ATF", said Ken Bray, Resident Agent in Charge of ATF in Montana. "We are asking for the public's help in our effort to apprehend and convict those responsible. We are confident that someone can help identify a suspect and we encourage them to call us."
Ravalli County Sheriff Chris Hoffman added that, "locating these explosives is imperative to the safety of the citizens of Ravalli County and elsewhere. The Sheriff's Office is working closely with ATF to resolve this case as soon and safely as possible". Sheriff Hoffman encourages anyone with information regarding this incident to call the numbers listed below.
A reward of up to $5,000 is being offered to anyone who provides information that leads to the recovery of the explosives and to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the theft. Stealing explosives and possession of stolen explosives is a federal crime that is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
Anyone with information is encouraged to call the ATF hotline at 1-888-ATF-BOMB (1-888-283-2662), or locally in Missoula at 406-721-2611. They can also call the Ravalli County Sheriff's Office at 406-363-3033. Anonymous tips can be received by CrimeStoppers at 406-363-0062.