DENVER – A 53-year-old Loveland man was arrested Friday after federal agents found four pipe bombs at his home and gunpowder in his vehicle while serving search warrants and federal officials warned of a white supremacist group threatening violence following his arrest.
Bradley Bunn, 53, was charged with possession of illegal destructive devices by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Colorado. He appeared before a magistrate judge Monday and was advised of the charges against him in a 17-minute hearing. His preliminary and detention hearings are set to take place Wednesday.
Bunn had been helping organize a protest at the state Capitol against the state’s COVID-19 restrictions, but it was unclear what Bunn planned to do with the alleged bombs, ABC News reported, citing an official briefed on the investigation.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Colorado, FBI special agents and officers and agents from other jurisdictions served two search warrants in northern Colorado Friday at Bunn’s home.
Last Friday, the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office said its deputies and FBI agents were at a scene in Loveland after a message from the sheriff’s office warned people in the area there was police activity and to remain inside their homes.
FBI agents found four pipe bombs in his home and two, one-pound containers of cartridge-reloading gunpowder inside his vehicle, which the U.S. Attorney’s office said is “a potential pipe bomb component.”
The devices were rendered safe by bomb technicians at a gun range, federal officials said. An affidavit released Monday said that bomb technicians found each pipe bomb contained explosive material.
When he spoke with FBI agents afterward, according to the affidavit, he told them he didn’t have “a lot of experience in this” and hadn’t built such items before.
He said that the fuse would take five to seven seconds to burn and that he did not put any fragmentation materials inside the bombs, according to the affidavit, though he said he was considering using buck shot.
“I mean if you’re gonna do a job, do it right. But because I don’t have the sufficient knowledge to know what interacts with what, I didn’t want to put coating on a ball bearing or something that would interact with the gun powder and cause some kind of chemical reaction I didn’t expect,” Bunn allegedly told agents, according to the affidavit.
The affidavit says that Bunn told agents that he planned to use the bombs in the event that police raided his home. An agent asked him: “So a hard entry in the morning, you were going to use them on a bunch of clumped up guys out front?”
“F--- yes,” Bunn replied, according to the affidavit.
ABC News reported that law enforcement officials discovered Bunn was trying to get people to bring rifles to last Friday’s rally and that he had been making “angry and aggressive” social media posts in the days beforehand.
In a motion to restrict some documents in the case, U.S. Attorney for Colorado Jason Dunn wrote that at the time the search warrant was executed Friday “there were concerns that Mr. Bunn was escalating to violence and that he had the means to commit violence.”
He also wrote that on Saturday night, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued an alert saying it had identified threats of violence toward FBI agents and local law enforcement coming from a “white supremacist extremist instant messaging group” that was claiming a “quick reaction force” was staging in Fort Collins in response to the Friday raid.
Dunn wrote that the group was “inciting followers to shoot through their doors at FBI agents and local law enforcement officers performing said raids.”
He wrote that the FBI “understands this warning to pertain to associates of Mr. Bunn, and the FBI is taking steps to safeguard and warn agents and local law enforcement officers in the area.”
Dunn said that misinformation about Bunn’s arrest was being published online and that information “may be causing associates of Mr. Bunn to consider escalating to violence.” He asked the judge to release a redacted version of the affidavit and complaint to allow the government to “promptly correct and clarify that information,” to which the judge agreed.
The office said that if Bunn is convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.