Police: Satellite Beach man 'experimenting' with small explosives

Published On: Apr 30 2013 06:59:16 AM EDT
Updated On: Apr 30 2013 05:30:15 PM EDT

A bomb squad surrounds a Satellite Beach home following an arrest of a man who had what appeared to be a pipe bomb and a detonator.

SATELLITE BEACH, Fla. -

A Satellite Beach man is expected to appear in court Tuesday after police said he may have been planning to build explosive devices and a search revealed explosives at the man’s home.

Satellite Beach police, Brevard County sheriff’s deputies and federal agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives spent much of the night in the 400 block of Norwood Avenue, just about a block from the Satellite Beach police station, searching the home Joseph P. Long, 30, shared with his parents. Law enforcement officials were looking for explosives after Long was arrested earlier Monday when officers found a partially constructed pipe bomb in Long’s truck, police said.

“They did find some evidence such as dismantled shotgun shells, fuses, pipes and tape and various other materials” at the home, Satellite Beach Police Chief Jeff Pearson said in a news conference Tuesday morning. “It’s clear the suspect was experimenting with small-scale devices, but they had a potential to cause very serious injury if you’re in close proximity.

“The house has been secured and I can assure the residents the materials that would pose any danger have been collected. The house is completely safe and secure, as is the surrounding area.”

The multiagency investigation began when someone reported a suspicious person at Crespino baseball fields southeast of the Satellite Beach Public Library in Indian Harbour Beach, Local 6 confirmed.

Police responded and found “pipe bomb materials” in a truck, as well as an AR-15 style rifle, a handgun, a bow, knives and flashlights, Pearson said. Indian Harbour police arrested Long – who police said claimed to be a former employee of U.S. Customs and Border Protection – after finding the suspicious items.

Police then turned to his home at 480 Norwood Avenue in Satellite Beach, serving a search warrant at the house throughout the night.

They found several items of concern in the garage and Long’s bedroom. Pearson said it does not appear Long’s parents knew what was going on.

Long’s intentions are unknown.

“The suspect mentioned that he had written down some things at some point, but we don’t know where they are written,” Pearson said. “We didn’t find them in the house.”

Pearson said the pipe bombs Long appeared to be making are much smaller compared to the pressure-cooker explosives used in the deadly Boston Marathon bombings. He said it would be speculation to say whether Long had a plot to finish and plant the pipe bombs.

Long is facing charges of possession, making or attempting to make a destructive device and carrying a concealed weapon. He is being held in Brevard County Jail and is expected to appear in court early this afternoon. Additional charges may be forthcoming based on the Satellite Beach police investigation.

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