Andrew Boguslawski, left, and his attorney, Mark Babb, review evidence at a Jan. 10 preliminary hearing in Madison County Municipal Court in London, Ohio. (Jessica Heffner / AP)
COLUMBUS, OHIO — Explosive devices seized from an Indiana guardsman who was pulled over for speeding in Ohio were capable of causing injuries and death to people nearby if they were detonated, according to a federal complaint.
Investigators also found numerous videos and photographs showing defendant Andrew Boguslawski, family members and associates — including Boguslawski’s 16-year-old niece — blowing up several devices, according to the court papers.
The 44-year-old Boguslawski appeared briefly in court Monday afternoon at hearing where he acknowledged he’d read the charge against him: possession of destructive devices not registered to him in a national firearms database.
He was not required to enter a plea and waived a bond and preliminary hearing, meaning the government now has 30 days to seek an indictment. Defense attorney Mark Babb declined to comment.
Video evidence showed that Boguslawski had used explosive devices as weapons and distraction devices near civilians and military personnel, according to the complaint by Timothy Burt, a special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The government says nine of the devices could have caused injuries or death if they went off.
“These explosions would produce blast, thermal effects and propel pieces of plastic at high velocities in all directions,” the complaint said of the devices’ potential.
“These devices would be capable of causing property damage and personal injuries and/or deaths to persons near the explosion,” the complaint said. They were described as heavy plastic bottles filled with explosive “flash” powder with fuses in lids for ignition.
The complaint doesn’t say where the devices were blown up but says his niece lives in Ford City, Pa., northeast of Pittsburgh.
Ohio police stopped Boguslawski in January for doing 88 mph in a 70 mph zone on Interstate 70. He was on his way back to Indiana after visiting family in Pennsylvania, said Fred Alverson, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney in Columbus.
Boguslawski had worked at an Indiana National Guard training center near Butlerville, Ind., and told troopers he had items for training purposes. He had been in the Indiana Guard’s medical discharge unit since November, but a Guard spokeswoman has said she couldn’t discuss his medical condition.
Boguslawski remains in custody without bond. The new federal charge carries up to 10 years in prison, and preliminary state charges have been dropped.
A message was left with the Indiana National Guard. Alverson says Boguslawski is still a guardsman. Babb has contended there was no indication that Boguslawski had any plans to hurt anyone.
The Indiana Guard said Boguslawski received military intelligence training and had served there since 2007, after transferring from the Tennessee National Guard. He joined the Pennsylvania National Guard out of high school and also served in the Ohio National Guard, according to Indiana Guard records. Officials at Wright State University near Dayton said he earned a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership in 2006.
During the traffic stop, Boguslawski told Trooper William Scott Davis that he didn’t have weapons. Davis said he spotted the butt of a gun tucked between his legs. Davis then held Boguslawski at gunpoint and called for backup, leading to a search that police say turned up the explosives and weapons.