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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

News Release

For Immediate Release

Friday, April 20, 2018
Contact: Charlene Hennessy

Stolen Explosives and Blasting Caps Recovered in Marietta, Pennsylvania

PHILADELPHIA– On April 20, 2018 at approximately 2:30 p.m., Special Agents from the ATF Philadelphia Field Division, along with Pennsylvania State (PSP) Troopers and Susquehanna Regional Police Department Officers (SRPD) responded to the Riverfront Park located at 551 Vinegar Ferry Road in East Donegal Township, Pennsylvania, in regards to a report of possible explosives discarded in a creek located in the public park.

Upon arrival, investigators encountered numerous detonators (or blasting caps) and dynamite cartridges floating in a creek underneath a railroad overpass. The identification markings matched those from the items reported stolen from the pipeline worksite approximately a week prior. Upon further search of the creek and the surrounding area, and utilizing an ATF explosives detection canine, investigators recovered 320 cartridges of dynamite (weighing approximately 352 pounds at 1.1 pound per cartridge) and a total of 404 blasting caps. Initial inventory of the missing explosives totaled 640 cartridges (weighing approximately 704 pounds) and approximately 400 blasting caps.

“The detonators and dynamite recovered today are now stored in law enforcement explosives magazines in the area. The inventory of the missing explosives and blasting caps was based on the paperwork provided by the contractor after the report of the theft occurred,” said Special Agent in Charge Donald Robinson. “We are making every attempt to ensure there are no additional explosive materials still unaccounted for. We are investigating the possibly the inventory conducted earlier this week was based on inaccurate acquisition and disposition records.”

Investigators have conducted almost 300 hundred interviews of employees and other witnesses relating to the investigation. Interviews are expected to continue throughout the weekend. SAC Robinson urges anyone with information pertaining to the discarding of the materials in the public park or relating to the theft of the explosive materials to contact the ATF hotline at 1-888-ATF-BOMB (1-888-283-2662) or call 911. Tips can also be submitted by using the Reportit® app, available from both Google Play and the Apple App store, or by visiting (link is external). All tips will be kept confidential.

The $20,000 reward is still active for information leading to the identification and/or the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the theft.

ATF is the federal law enforcement agency responsible for investigating violations of the federal firearms and explosives laws and regulations.

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Philadelphia Field Division