Teens Busted With More Than 80 IEDs In Truck, Had Been Selling Bombs

Sandy Malone

Police nabbed Tyler Bryce Bontrager and Andrew A. Hoffman driving a truck full of explosive devices and bomb parts.

Hutchinson, KS – Two teenagers were arrested when police stopped their truck and found more than 80 improvised explosive devices (IED) inside the vehicle.

Residents of Hutchinson had been calling police for weeks to report that they heard explosions nearby, The Hutchinson News reported.

On Feb. 8, authorities got a tip that someone was driving around town with a truck full of IEDs.

“We did some investigative work on it and found out who owned the vehicle,” South Hutchinson Police Chief Dean Harcrow explained. “We located it around State Street and Poplar Street and a traffic stop was initiated.”

When they stopped the vehicle, police found it was occupied by two 18-year-old men who had more than 80 IEDs with them.

Officers discovered a plastic tote full of bomb-making materials, as well as 82 bombs that had already been assembled, The Hutchinson News reported.

“The ATF considered them to be IEDs,” Chief Harcrow said. “They said 72 of them were the equivalent of a quarter stick of dynamite and 10 of them equaled a half stick of dynamite. They were making them at a residence out in the county and selling them individually to other individuals in Reno County.”

It is illegal to manufacture explosives larger than an M80 in the United States without a federal high explosives manufacturing license, according to The Hutchinson News.

The area around the stopped vehicle was shut down by police and nearby residents were evacuated while agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) Wichita office processed the crime scene.

The suspects also had a plastic tub full of extra bomb-making supplies with them in the truck.

“They were ordering stuff off the internet to make them,” Chief Harcrow said. “They included powdered potassium chlorate and aluminum powder in cardboard tubes. They had fuses.”

Police said that Tyler Bryce Bontrager and Andrew A. Hoffman, both 18 years old, had been making and selling IEDs to other people, The Hutchinson News reported.

Chief Harcrow said he suspected the bombs Bontrager and Hoffman had been selling were responsible for the last night blasts recently reported in the area.

ATF took custody of the unexploded devices and will deliver a final report on what kind of damage the IEDs could have done had they been used, The Hutchinson News reported.

Bontrager and Hoffman were arrested and booked into the Reno County jail on criminal use of explosives charges, The Hutchinson News reported.

The Reno County District Attorney’s Office will determine final charges against the suspects after they have seen the ATF’s report, KMBC reported.

Both teenagers were bonded out of jail the next day.

The investigation surrounding the explosives found in Bontrager and Hoffman’s possession isn’t over, according to The Hutchinson News.

“We’re still doing follow up,” Chief Harcrow said. “The investigation is ongoing. There might be more people involved, but we’re still looking into that.”

Comments (60)
No. 1-17
TONYAPARNELL
TONYAPARNELL

WHO THE HELL LET THEM OUT ON BOND ???

LordSeamus
LordSeamus

Who ever let them out on bond should be submitted to a pysch exam !

lawgog
lawgog

the story is worded wrong. they had and made homemade fireworks like M80’s used to be. They are saying bombs to make them out as terrorist. they had reports of explosions but no reports of damage.

MizzV
MizzV

Sounds like these kids were pretty doggone resourceful.

Why aren't there parents aware of these materials?
And, why aren't they aware of what they're boys we're up to?!

Bombs? ½-1 stick of dynamite is much more powerful than an M80.
I'm sure one of these devices could do far more damage than there old M80's, which would send a mailbox flying off it's perch, or so I was told 😁🤭

I don't think the kids are terrorists. I think they built these things to sell and blow small shit up out in the country!

Like a lot of young people they made a bad decision, because it's illegal, got caught, and I only hope it doesn't ruin the rest of their lives for being stupid kids.

I'm curious what the investigation will unearth about who else is involved.

Excalibr4
Excalibr4

I used to make fireworks when I was a kid. We had M80's and I was told THEY were the same as a quarter stick of dynamite. We were 13 and in 8th grade, The last thing in our minds was terrorist acts. Just the thrill of a big bang. I'm sure once the authorities investigate they will find out it's nothing more than kids making bigger fireworks. Sure they are illegal, but calling it a "bomb" is a joke. Timothy McVeigh built a BOMB. also NONE of the "devices" (call them fireworks) were equal to one stick of dynamite, Only one was even half a stick. You can go on uTube and find hundreds of homemade fireworks like these being set off.

Excalibr4
Excalibr4

After looking it up it seems there is no comparison between Dynamite and m80s. Dynamite is like 100 times more explosive (an entire stick) Mind you, when I was told M80s had the force of 1/4th stick of Dynamite, that was 30 years before the internet. Also the key to dynamite and its explosive power is nitroglycerin. One of the guys in our group continued to try to make fireworks after we got tired of it. I'm pretty sure he was able to produce nitroglycerin. He had a vial of liquid, which exploded while he was handling it. A shard of glass ripped open his jugular vein and he died in his mother's arms as he bled out. It's good that the Feds got these fireworks/explosives out of the hands of those kids and everyone they sold them to. Not for public safety, but their own.

Sargejh
Sargejh

This story is gonna blow up in their face!
(Someone had to say it😜)

AwB05
AwB05

I, my younger brother and at least two other neighbors used to make our own M80 and bigger bombs all the time when we were teens. All through High School and early college years. Used to blow them up in the back yard or go out to the country and blow up the bigger ones. We never hurt anyone or any thing of value. Adults knew we were doing it and would only say when we asked if they heard the explosion, “yes, we thought it was you boys.” We “all” now have college degrees, 3 of the 5 of us were Eagle Boy Scouts, 1 an Army Lieutenant Colonel, 1 a State Police Lieutenant and the others solid community business and family men. Not a divorce between us. People just won’t let boys be boys. We are all told we must be sheep.

TBeatty
TBeatty

It sounds like Tannerite (look it up if you never heard of it). Aluminum powder and oxidizer is tannerite and many people make their own. It's legal and extremely stable. Generally binary explosives are kept separate until needed and mixed. The concerning issue is the fuse and whether they mixed it, Tannerite is used for exploding targets and detonates with a supersonic shock wave. It can be bought and shipped online.

goodgentnsc
goodgentnsc

I'm retired LEO and and charging these 2 was blowing smoke in the wind to make it look worse than it was because you can buy the same thing they had at academy sports it's called tenerite I know my spelling is terrible lol but you can buy it in a store already premixed

4 Replies

1cajunboy
1cajunboy

And you were a LEO?
I worked for Homeland Security, and I want to ask you this.... " let's assume these kids were driving past your house and as they approached they had a head-on collision with a speeder, and the wreck caused their truck to go ablaze... Still not concerned

goodgentnsc
goodgentnsc

Didn't say I wasn't concerned I just said that from the law end it's going to be hard to convict if there selling the same thing at the sports store but there's more to this story some how because what they're saying they had you can't just put a match to it and make it go boom I know it's weird but one of the ways to make it go boom is shoot it with a rifle but yes I'm concerned just like I'm concerned about these stupid idiot's shooting people in a Walmart it all bothers me because idiot's like these are what takes away the rights of good people sorry if I confused you

Anomie88
Anomie88

Tannerite.

LewT7
LewT7

Um, you don't purchase it "pre-mixed". It comes in a jar with a small package of the powder inside. And it's not flammable. The so called Las Vegas shooter had over a hundred pounds of it in a caravan in the parking lot of the Mandalay. I wonder why if he was planning on killing himself. When I buy any I go to the woods and use it, as directed.

lauraaz
lauraaz

It doesn't sound like these kids were up to anything more than fireworks out of season, and "watch this, hold my beer" syndrome. The availability is a little more disturbing in light of real terrorists trying to come into this country and cause problems. Maybe we need to legalize cherry bombs and M80s again so the kids can get it out of their system.

lauraaz
lauraaz

Not as bad as the story I heard here in Phoenix about 20 years ago. Seems a local boy scout had a mother working in a plant making C-4 for the military. Said scout somehow got his hands on a fairly large supply which he was selling to other scouts at a scout convention in 1 lb blocks. It was kept very quiet, but bomb squads were running all over the Phoenix metro area retrieving it from dumpsters, kid's bedrooms, etc.

Hugh Jassel
Hugh Jassel

Just kids having fun.

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

"Tyler Bryce Bontrager"

TarnishedCopper
TarnishedCopper

The unsafe part of this is that flash powder which is what they were making is extremely unstable when exposed to shock, static electricity, low humidity, etc. Putting it in a plastic container was asking for an accidental explosion from static electricity. In a Fire and Arson Investigation class I attended, a state agency seized several gross of illegal stuff like this. When the case cleared the courts they were going to destroy it by dropping it down an old mine shaft and throwing in a stick of dynamite. As they dropped the boxes down the shaft, each exploded from the shock of striking the bottom of the shaft.

61mouse
61mouse

Well here is another 2 that won't show up for court

Jim H. - Virginia US
Jim H. - Virginia US


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