Posted 7:47 PM 8/29/2013 : Arrest made in Marana bomb threat case
MARANA - An arrest has been made in connection with the bomb threat outside a Hooters restaurant in June. The suspect? The same man who reported the bomb in his very own car. Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms agents say 33-year-old Jason Anthony Romero left two pipe bombs in his car outside two Marana businesses on June 9th. Marana police evacuated about 200 people, from Hooters and Bedroxx bowling near Ina and I-10. The Pima Regional Bomb Squad also responded and disposed of the Improvised Explosive Device. Romero admitted to investigators on Tuesday he not only planted the bomb, he constructed it and he called police and made a false report. Investigators aren't discussing the motive because it relates to an ongoing criminal investigation. Romero is facing two federal charges, making a firearm, the two explosive pipe bombs and, possession of a firearm, that also includes the two pipe bombs. In court Thursday, pretrial services asked the judge to have Romero released. Investigators objected. Sgt. Chris Rogers is with the Pima Regional Bomb squad, they also helped with the investigation. He tells News 4, "Due to the severe nature of the crime, this is an individual who constructed a very dangerous device and left it in a public place. He endangered scores of people and we felt detention would be more appropriate." The judge agreed, and ordered Romero to remain behind bars. But just how dangerous were the pipe bombs Romero admitted to making? Sgt. Rogers unit was tasked with removing and disposing of the pipe bombs. "It was an extremely dangerous operation. Where the bombs were placed on the vehicle, was used in what we call as an enhancement. The gasoline in the vehicle and the added fragmentation of the metal made the case even more complicated." The investigation was primarily handled by ATF agents and Marana police. They served five search warrants and interviewed scores of people. Sgt. Rogers adds, "Most IED cases take two to three years to investigate and bring to completion. This case was brought to closure in 90 days." Jason Romero is due back in court next month.
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