Someone without fail, upon hearing this news story will say, “He was such a quiet man. Never bothered anyone.” It always happens that way.
The Madison Police Department (MPD), working in concert with Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) agents, arrested a 76-year old Madison man at his home yesterday afternoon on a tentative charge of Attempting to Possess Explosives. The apprehension followed efforts by the suspect to secure an explosive device. It was to be sent to a Montana man who is a friend of the suspect’s estranged wife. Using a bogus email account, the Madison man took out a “wanted” add on Milwaukee’s Craigslist website in May indicating he was looking for “a mechanic or technician to construct an anti-personnel explosive device (AEPD).” An ATF agent contacted a phone number posted on Craigslist and posed as a bomb maker. The suspect told the ATF agent his name was “Hal” and he offered $500 for an explosive device. He wanted it contained in a metal box and rigged to detonate when the lid was opened. Yesterday, ATF agents, and MPD officers went to the suspect’s Haas Street home to deliver the “device”, which was inert. The suspect was wearing latex gloves at the time of his arrest. Instead of taking custody of the “device” he was taken into custody.