Explosives found inside man's home

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Federal and local authorities sealed off a Martinez home Saturday and searched it for explosives after learning the homeowner had been injured in a small blast days before.

Officials with the FBI; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Fort Gordon; the Columbia County Sheriff's Office; and the Richmond County sheriff's bomb squad spent much of the day at 319 Sally Drive, off Furys Ferry Road near River Watch Parkway.

Authorities said they arrived Friday after learning the home owner had been injured in an explosion Tuesday.

Columbia County sheriff's Capt. Steve Morris said "bomb-making ingredients" were found at the home, but authorities were still identifying materials and expect to resume a search for any other potential ingredients today.

Capt. Morris identified the homeowner as Chad Wells, 37.

He said Mr. Wells, a Realtor, lived there alone and "has lost one if not numerous fingers."

Beth Frits, a spokeswoman for the Joseph M. Still Burn Center, said Mr. Wells was in good condition Saturday.

Officials were searching the home; its backyard, which includes a shed; and an area across the street.

They said any explosive materials would be removed and disposed of.

Anthony Russo, a supervisory senior resident agent for the FBI's Augusta office, said the case was turned over to the ATF after officials ruled out any connection to terrorism.

"There was no imminent risk to the community," he said.

Capt. Morris said Mr. Wells has been interviewed, but no charges had been filed.

Mr. Wells initially told authorities he had been injured in a firecracker accident, Capt. Morris said, "but the injuries to his hand and what we have observed at the scene tell a much different story."

Agent Russo said his office was contacted Friday by the hospital after reviewing the man's injuries and "comments he may have made to staff."

Agent Russo would not describe those comments.

Officials said they were in the process of determining the amount of bomb-making ingredients at and around the home Saturday.

Robert Cave, who lives across the street, said Mr. Wells has lived in the area for about five years.

"He's been pretty quiet," he said.

Mr. Cave said that for the past six months, he had heard explosive "thumps" coming from the home.

He said he didn't think anything of the sounds at the time, but added, "He just didn't know what he was getting into. It might have got too big for him."

Reach Preston Sparks at (706) 823-3338 or preston.sparks@augustachronicle.com.

Comments (41) Add comment
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patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 01/18/09 - 06:00 am
0
0
I have an acquaintance who

I have an acquaintance who thought the ammonium nitrate and fuel oil combination everyone was talking about after the Oklahoma City explosion was a bunch of hype so he mixed up a small coffee can of the stuff and used a M80 as a detonator. This was no explosives expert, but he admitted the possibility that the stories were true, so he stuck the can in a 20" concrete culvert to reduce the chances of a repeat of the Oklahoma City incident. Well, to make a long story short, the mixture worked just fine. The culvert didn't handle the concussion very well and no one got injured, but someone had to rebuild their driveway entrance. Since the "test" was run just outside the city limits (@ 3am), I feel there was a fair amount of underwear changing that went on also. I suspect ole Chad Wells was almost as smart as my acquaintance.

HYPOCRITES 08
7
Points
HYPOCRITES 08 01/18/09 - 08:17 am
0
0
Cannot blame this one on

Cannot blame this one on South Augusta.

JohnQPublic
5
Points
JohnQPublic 01/18/09 - 08:23 am
0
0
"the case was turned over to

"the case was turned over to the ATF after officials ruled out any connection to terrorism." Then what is the world WAS Wells doing? He did lie about how he got injured. I guess making explosives is a hobby of his.

juantez
232
Points
juantez 01/18/09 - 08:44 am
0
0
Not in Columbia County say it
Unpublished

Not in Columbia County say it ain't so. The people there can NOT do no wrong. WRONG!!!!!

timereader
0
Points
timereader 01/18/09 - 09:11 am
0
0
things like this can happen

things like this can happen anywhere,nomatter where you live!

hossiv
0
Points
hossiv 01/18/09 - 09:27 am
0
0
This is a strange story. I

This is a strange story. I wonder the guy was really doing.

mommy22girls
0
Points
mommy22girls 01/18/09 - 10:09 am
0
0
I know a guy who is close

I know a guy who is close friends to this guy and he said he builds his own fire works with the materials found and has never made a bomb.

Riverman1
81443
Points
Riverman1 01/18/09 - 10:19 am
0
0
That old rundown house up on

That old rundown house up on the hill just inside the county line has always made me wonder.

SandyK2005
1
Points
SandyK2005 01/18/09 - 11:25 am
0
0
"things like this can happen

"things like this can happen anywhere,nomatter where you live!" ------ True, but CC residents tend to blame crime and worse on RC. This time they are getting a dose of their own medicine. White boy blows off his hand in a bomb explosion, meanwhile "concerned CC citizen neighbors" (you know the type that would rant about South Augusta or Downtowns' "black" riffrafts?) don't even blink an eye, some even defending the dude. Hypocrites one and all. We need a newsletter of crimes and criminals in CC, as they're more dangerous. From a serial killer onwards!

hossiv
0
Points
hossiv 01/18/09 - 12:24 pm
0
0
"WHite Boy" huh? I cant

"WHite Boy" huh? I cant decide who brings up race more on here.

marien
28
Points
marien 01/18/09 - 12:38 pm
0
0
Things happen here all the

Things happen here all the time and sometimes it make the news and sometimes not. Strange things go on everywhere.

SandyK2005
1
Points
SandyK2005 01/18/09 - 12:54 pm
0
0
'"WHite Boy" huh? I cant

'"WHite Boy" huh? I cant decide who brings up race more on here.' ----- It's an illustration of hypocrisy and double standards. Need not even enter the equation, until some CC residents make it their mission to diss RC, and largely over race issues. Now they have to deal with the trash in their own backyard, and this time the dude's "white on rice". Same can be said of that serial killer that resided there, preying on "white on rice" citizens. Remember???? What goes around, comes around eventually.

patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 01/18/09 - 12:58 pm
0
0
SandyK, so, it's not just all

SandyK, so, it's not just all about being stupid I see. A racist, too. Cool. You'll fit right in with the Dem base, you independent you.

quickfeet
0
Points
quickfeet 01/18/09 - 01:38 pm
0
0
kabooomm! run hadji run...

kabooomm! run hadji run...

NEone
6
Points
NEone 01/18/09 - 01:53 pm
0
0
Maybe we should look at

Maybe we should look at stats, comparing RC to CC. Though there's crime in CC, I'll bet RC comes out on top in most, if not all, categories. That's the CC argument--not that there's no crime, but there's a lot more in RC. Ask your insurance agent.

SandyK2005
1
Points
SandyK2005 01/18/09 - 03:54 pm
0
0
RC's crime mostly is your

RC's crime mostly is your native five finger discounts. CC has an uncanny ability to attract the extremists, be it a serial killer, to now someone who thinks ordering bomb parts online is something to brag about (and the neighbor thinking nothing about it post-Columbine/9/11), let alone Captain Americas who think a Glock will save them against a tank!

workingmom
0
Points
workingmom 01/18/09 - 04:27 pm
0
0
A crime can be committed

A crime can be committed anywhere by anyone. Young or old, any race or socioeconomic status. Yes, there is crime in CC but I'd still rather live in CC than take my chances in RC. I agree with NEone.

jack
10
Points
jack 01/18/09 - 04:33 pm
0
0
Sandyk "BlackyK", the

Sandyk "BlackyK", the majority of crime reported in tht AC/local TV news IS in RC and IS black related. Dealing drugs, guns and shootings ain't "five finger discounts".

Waymore
103
Points
Waymore 01/18/09 - 05:18 pm
0
0
Nobody ever said there was no

Nobody ever said there was no crime in Columbia County. But you won't see Columbia County residents making excuses for this person's behavior.

justus4
99
Points
justus4 01/18/09 - 06:08 pm
0
0
Where is this guy's picture?
Unpublished

Where is this guy's picture? Where is the criminal background check? And "ruled out any connection with terrorism" is not a known fact. Why would an officer make such a reckless statement unless he is attempting to cover for this guy. Law enforcement has already made a decision even before the evidence is discovered. How can that be? Another example of racial influence of an investigation, because if this was a minority the officer would be suggesting extreme caution. "We" are getting sick & tired of these blatant criminal acts going unpunished and justice being denied to minorities. Again, a white guy playing with dangerous explosives, risking the entire community, violating EPA statutes, and some officer says, "no risk to the community" with a straight face. This is criminal behavior and the DA should prosecute to signal others that are thinking about experimenting with bombs.

SandyK2005
1
Points
SandyK2005 01/18/09 - 07:16 pm
0
0
"But you won't see Columbia

"But you won't see Columbia County residents making excuses for this person's behavior." ------ The neighbors sure didn't report a guy who claimed he was ordering bomb stuff online, either. A red flag for anyone, but strangely CC residents.

SandyK2005
1
Points
SandyK2005 01/18/09 - 07:19 pm
0
0
"And "ruled out any

"And "ruled out any connection with terrorism" is not a known fact." ----- One thing for sure, he wasn't making firecrackers. What civilian, outside mining, orders bomb stuff online, anyway?

DarthHoodie
0
Points
DarthHoodie 01/18/09 - 11:54 pm
0
0
SandyK2005, It is clear that

SandyK2005,

It is clear that you have some existing impressions about the two jurisdictions so I thought I would give you something to look at:

Violent crime rate for Richmond Cty: 534
Violent crime rate for Columbia Cty: 54
Property Crime Rate Richmond Cty: 13,618
Property Crime Rate Columbia Cty: 2308

these are the number of REPORTED crimes per 100000 residents. (2007)

Living in RC, you are 10x more likely to be the victim of a violent crime and 6x as likely to be the victim of a property crime (for a place that is only 2x as large)

looking at these...i'll take my chances with a random psycho that blows his own fingers off

cncop1
0
Points
cncop1 01/19/09 - 12:58 am
0
0
This guy will join all the

This guy will join all the other unreported crime lords on the sofa
at their therapist instead of jail. Emerald City must remain unstained.

sameday
0
Points
sameday 01/19/09 - 02:34 am
0
0
I have to agree with justus4

I have to agree with justus4 if the guy was black he would have his picture .. criminal history ect.. i wonder was real estate firm he wors for ... care to guess?

sameday
0
Points
sameday 01/19/09 - 02:34 am
0
0
I have to agree with justus4

I have to agree with justus4 if the guy was black he would have his picture .. criminal history ect.. i wonder was real estate firm he wors for ... care to guess?

DarthHoodie
0
Points
DarthHoodie 01/19/09 - 03:03 am
0
0
You all must be reading a

You all must be reading a different article than me...I don't see a single mention of race.

SandyK2005
1
Points
SandyK2005 01/19/09 - 08:59 am
0
0
"i'll take my chances with a

"i'll take my chances with a random psycho that blows his own fingers off" ----- Let alone a serial killer, and other assorted extremists living there (as CC is a haven to transplants, too). Captain America with his Glock is yet another example of the Looney farm, in CC. At this rate, for public health, they need to spike CC's drinking water with Haldol. Then life will be a tad more safe and quiet in the CSRA. :)

SandyK2005
1
Points
SandyK2005 01/19/09 - 09:06 am
0
0
"You all must be reading a

"You all must be reading a different article than me...I don't see a single mention of race." ------- Which is the reason why folks are curious. Not even a photo. A local businessman is caught red handed (literally) with bomb making stuff, and the so-called community closes ranks and are quieter than a mouse. So is it due to him being a Republican, let alone being a "blond boy wonder"? We got more media attention over that assistant DA who stoled gift cards, than someone who's hobby is blowing things up. It doesn't add up....

KSL
124953
Points
KSL 01/19/09 - 11:33 am
0
0
If no charges were filed

If no charges were filed there would not be a picture for the paper to insert.

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