A 59-year-old man who set off explosives in Petersburg and seriously injured himself last month is now facing felony criminal charges.
Mark W. Weaver was indicted by a federal grand jury in Anchorage last Thursday for possessing unregistered destructive devices, including seven hand grenades. The indictment and arrest warrant were kept secret but unsealed Wednesday when Weaver was arrested in Tacoma, Wash.
Weaver made his first court appearance in U.S. District Court in Tacoma before Judge Karen Strombom. He was advised of his rights and remanded into custody.
The first count of the indictment accuses Weaver of possessing destructive devices that were not registered to him in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record, while the second count specifically references the hand grenades. The indictment demands he forfeit all the devices to the state if found guilty.
The longtime Petersburg resident and real estate developer allegedly detonated an explosive mixture on Petersburg Borough property July 13 for reasons that have not been explained. The bombing rattled the small Southeast community literally and figuratively as special agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol and Tobacco and Firearms swooped in to investigate.
Investigators found Weaver had about 20 pounds of explosive mixture in his van when he drove himself to the local clinic, and he had more inside a garage in another area of town. The ATF ultimately blew up the material while agents were in Petersburg, a spectacle that members of the public and local media were invited to attend. There was no other place to safely store it, the agency said.
Petersburg police later said they believed the explosives were a commercially available substance that Weaver may have had access to through his work in construction. The police chief said it did not appear Weaver intended to hurt anyone. The fact that the ATF took jurisdiction over the case, rather than the FBI, indicates the bombing was not linked to terrorism.
Weaver was medevaced to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle for treatment immediately after the bombing. The extent of his injuries is not known, and his family has not talked to the press.
• Contact reporter Emily Russo Miller at 523-2263 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.