Petersburg man indicted for explosives

(Photo courtesy KFSK)

(Photo courtesy KFSK)

A grand jury has indicted 59-year-old Mark Weaver of Petersburg for possession of unregistered explosives. He was injured in an explosion in a Petersburg rock pit in July, prompting an investigation by federal law enforcement agencies. Weaver was arrested this week in Washington state.

Weaver was medevaced to Seattle in July. It was the day after his 59th birthday when he was injured in an explosion at the borough’s rock pit behind Petersburg’s airport. The incident prompted an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other law enforcement agencies.

A two-count indictment filed in U.S. District Court this month charges Weaver with possession of a destructive device that was not registered to him. The second count charges Weaver with possession of seven hand grenades that were not registered to him.

Joe Bottini is assistant U.S. Attorney in Anchorage and says the two counts are probably the only charges the government will bring against Weaver.

“Well they’re criminal offenses and they’re felonies. So each of the counts carries a maximum jail term of up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.”

Following the explosion in July, ATF agents blew up an additional 50 pounds of a commercially available explosive called Tovex they seized in town. That was after searching Weaver’s home, another property about two miles south of downtown and the truck he used to drive himself to the emergency room after the explosion.

ATF agents did not mention hand grenades at that time.The seized Tovex was not mentioned in the indictment and Bottini says he cannot comment on the evidence in the case. Weaver was arrested in the Seattle area Wednesday and Bottini says he’ll have to come back to Alaska to face the charges.

“He has a detention hearing set in Seattle on Tuesday of next week. And if he remains in custody then he’ll be transported here by the United States Marshall Service. If he’s released on conditions of release, then he’ll be permitted to travel here but he will have to come back to Alaska, that’s right.”

The case will be heard in U.S. District Court in Juneau.

Weaver was sentenced to jail in 2005 after pleading guilty to misdemeanor charges of assault against his wife and brother in law. During that case he was ordered to have no contact with 23 other members of the community including people who helped his wife and family flee town.

His wife Pat filed for divorce this June and has been granted a long term protective order against him.

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