FREETOWN, Mass. (MyFoxBoston.com) – A 25-year-old New Bedford man accused of setting off an explosive device in Freetown was ordered held without bail Wednesday after a judge deemed him potentially dangerous to the community.
Derek Faisca-Ribeiro was arrested Wednesday and charged with possessing substances used to create a destructive device, launching a destructive device, discharging an explosive device to injure property, and possession of a destructive device.
According to police, a Freetown police officer noticed Faisca-Ribeiro stopped on Chace Road with a mattress tied to the roof of his car at about 3:30 a.m. Wednesday. Faisca-Ribeiro told the officer he was just making sure the mattress was secure.
However, about 30 minutes later, 911 calls were made reporting an explosion and fire on Slab Bridge Road near Profile Rock. The explosion reportedly shook a house 200 yards away.
When police arrived, they found a small fire, remains of a mattress, and debris in nearby trees. The Mass. State Police Bomb Squad was called and an alert was issued for a male suspect and vehicle.
Just after 6 a.m., police said they located the vehicle and the suspect, later identified as Faisca-Ribeiro.
During questioning by the FBI, ATF, state police and Freetown police, Faisca-Ribeiro said he bought fireworks in New Hampshire and was going to use them to get rid of an old mattress; however, authorities said there are holes in his story.
"He denied that he altered these devices at all. He just claimed they were out of the package, but a search of the defendant's home revealed what the bomb squad believed was a tube the defendant had placed gun powder in. The bomb squad concluded he likely had taken gun powder from all of these rockets and actually had put them into a tube and made an actual explosive device by closing up the tube on either end, and he wasn't just lighting fireworks off," a state's attorney said.
Additionally, police said they found materials related to the Freetown explosion and military manuals for IEDs at the suspect's home. Police said Faisca-Ribeiro got the manuals during military service as a combat engineer. Police said he was "separated" from the military in 2011 for misconduct, a marijuana charge.
Faisca-Ribeiro will remain in lock up until a detention hearing Oct. 25.
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