Arrest leads to chemical cleanup

Posted: Sunday, June 06, 2004

SALMON, Idaho - More than 60 barrels of volatile chemicals were cleaned up and removed from a farm supply store in Lemhi County, Idaho, this week following the arrest of a Wasilla man who authorities say is the owner.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation contacted the Sheriff's Office on May 27 to report that Krister Sven Evertson, 50, had been arrested in Alaska on suspicion of illegally transporting sodium metal.

Evertson was arrested May 26 and charged with selling about 41 pounds of the material on an Internet auction site in the previous nine months.

Authorities said Evertson admitted under questioning that more of the material was being stored in Salmon.

Evertson's preliminary hearing in U.S. District Court in Anchorage is scheduled to continue Monday.

Sodium metal is a light, silver malleable metal that can cause severe burns of the eyes, digestive and respiratory tracts, according to chemical safety information available from several university Web sites. It is highly corrosive and reacts violently with water, giving off flammable hydrogen-based gas that may explode spontaneously.

Metallic sodium is necessary to manufacture esters and in the preparation of organic compounds.

Federal investigators contend that after each sale, Evertson would ship the sodium metals by commercial mail services without proper labeling or packaging.

Following the FBI's call, Lemhi County hazardous materials coordinator Richard Buster examined the storage site just east of Salmon at the farm supply store Steel & Ranch.

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