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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

For Immediate Release

July 31, 2009

Contact: Jessie Summers, ATF (509) 577-1401

Mike Humphreys, Walla Walla Sheriff (509) 524-5400

Jeff DeVere, Washington State Patrol (360) 596-4010

Theft Of Explosives In Walla Walla

Yakima, Wash. — On July 27, 2009, while conducting their routine inspection, Washington State Patrol troopers discovered a theft of explosives from the Port of Walla Walla’s airport industrial park explosive magazine. It has been determined the explosives were stolen between July 23 – 27, 2009. The Walla Walla Sheriff’s Office requested the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to lead the joint investigation. Since discovery of the theft, agents and officers initiated a criminal investigation and have sent evidence recovered from the scene to the state laboratory. The magazine contained explosives stored by various law enforcement agencies and private parties; the stolen items are described as follows:

  • 14 bags of rocket black powder (Washington Fish & Wildlife)
  • 200 lbs of AMEX/ANFO (Washington Fish & Wildlife)
  • 1 box containing 11 bags of Kinepak (Washington Fish & Wildlife)
  • 2 spools of 100 ft detonation cord (Washington State Patrol)
  • 115 “stingers,” blasting cap boosters (Washington State Patrol)
  • 27 lbs of green deta sheet explosives (Washington State Patrol)
  • 96 one-pound blocks of TNT (Washington State Patrol)
  • 17 sticks of dynamite (U.S. Forest Service)
  • 1 spool of 1500 feet of detonation cord (U.S. Forest Service)
  • 180 lbs of black powder (private party not regulated by ATF)
  • Consumer fireworks (private party not regulated by ATF)

“These explosives are stable if properly stored and used; in the hands of untrained people they pose a significant public safety threat,” says ATF Special Agent in Charge Robert R. Champion.

“I believe an informed public is a safer public, and I’m asking that anyone with information relating to this theft to please call the hotline number. We’re committed to following up on every lead,” says Walla Walla Sheriff Michael Humphreys.

The tip hotline number is 1-888-ATF-BOMB.

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