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Update: Suspect In Bixby Explosion Charged With Four Counts

Jul 11, 2017

The suspect in a Monday night explosion at an Air Force recruitment office southeast of Tulsa has been charged in federal court.

 

The Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested 28-year-old Benjamin Roden of Tulsa in connection with the bombing on Tuesday afternoon. He appeared in federal court on Wednesday, and was charged with four counts related to the destruction of federal property and the use of explosives.

 

According to court documents, law enforcement found two pipe bombs and bomb-making materials in a search of Roden's apartment. Investigators have determined that a pipe bomb caused the explosion at the Air Force office in Bixby on Monday night.

 

An eyewitness told investigators that he saw a man matching Roden's description speeding away from the scene of the bombing on a red motorcycle. Court documents say that Roden is the registered owner of a red Honda motorcycle.

 

According to federal court documents, Roden is a former senior airman in the U.S. Air Force who resigned when he realized he could not complete his training to become certified as an electrician. His commanding officer in the Air Force, Sgt. Brian Curtis, told investigators that Roden had been rejected from the U.S. Marines and blamed the Air Force for the rejection.

 

Roden also posted comments on Facebook expressing hostility toward the military and the government.

 

Roden is expected to appear in a preliminary court hearing and a detention hearing on Friday.  Whitney Mauldin, the attorney appointed to defend Roden, said in an email that she expects him to enter a not guilty plea if the case proceeds past the two hearings.

 

 

This story was updated on July 12, 2017 at 4:33 p.m.

 

Previous version:

 

A suspect in the bombing of an Air Force recruitment office southeast of Tulsa will appear in court Wednesday.

 

A spokesperson for the U.S. Marshals Service confirmed that 28-year-old Benjamin Roden of Tulsa is in custody at the Tulsa County Jail. Roden was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on Tuesday. 

 

Roden will appear in federal court this afternoon. A judge is expected transfer him into the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service, said Senior Inspector John Gage.

 

Roden is suspected in connection with an explosion at an Air Force recruitment office in a strip mall in Bixby on Monday night. The FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has been investigating the incident.

 

This story was updated on July 12, 2017 at 10:38 a.m.

 

Previous version:

 

Federal officials are questioning a suspect regarding an explosion at an Air Force recruitment base southeast of Tulsa.

 

A pipe bomb blew a door off of the office around 10:30 p.m. on Monday, says Federal Bureau of Investigation spokesperson Jessi Rice. The FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives responded to the incident shortly after.

 

The Tulsa World reports that the Tulsa police and FBI took a suspect into custody at an apartment complex on Tuesday afternoon.  No explosives were found in the area.

 

Rice said the FBI is not investigating the incident as an act of domestic terrorism. She said the bureau is attempting to rebuild the pipe bomb as part of its investigation.

 

"At this point, we don’t know if it was a disgruntled employee, an act of domestic terrorism, just someone playing games. So, we’re treating it as strictly a criminal investigation with an explosive device," Rice said.

 

Meredith Davis, a representative for the ATF, said officials used a two-pronged approach during their investigation on Tuesday morning, sweeping both the crime scene and the surrounding area. She said investigators reviewed surveillance footage and canvassed the area for more information.

 

A photo taken Tuesday morning shows plywood replacing a glass door that was knocked to the ground in front of the office.

 

This story was updated on July 11, 2017 at 5:31 p.m.

 

Previous version:

 

Federal officials are investigating an explosion at an Air Force recruitment base in a strip mall in Bixby, southeast of Tulsa.

 

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives responded to the incident on Monday evening. Meredith Davis, a representative for the ATF, said the explosion occurred at about 10:30 p.m. No injuries were reported.

Davis said law enforcement currently does not know what caused the explosion and does not have any information on suspects. She said investigators are using a two-pronged approach, sweeping both the crime scene and the surrounding area. She said they are reviewing surveillance footage and canvassing the area for more information. The ATF has not released information about suspects.

The Tulsa World reports that a pipe bomb caused the explosion. KGOU was unable to independently confirm the nature of the explosives.

A photo taken Tuesday morning shows plywood replacing a glass door that was knocked to the ground in front of the office.

The FBI did not respond to a request for information.

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