A former Fairborn resident and Wright State University graduate reportedly had more than 80 explosives devices, plus the materials to make more, inside his van when he was stopped on Interstate 70 New Year’s Day, the Columbus bomb squad commander testified Friday.
Andrew Scott Boguslawski, 43, of Moores Hill, Ind., faces a new charge of illegal assembly and possession of chemical weapons in addition to his initial felony charge of illegal manufacture or processing of explosives. The charges stem from a traffic stop New Year’s Day on westbound I-70 in Madison County when Trooper W. Scott Davis said he clocked Boguslawski driving 85 mph in a 70 mph zone.
During a preliminary hearing in Madison County Municipal Court, Davis testified he noticed several bumper stickers on the 2005 white Dodge caravan. One said, “If you’re reading this, you’re within range,” and another stated, “Need Ammo? Factory Direct.” He asked Boguslawski if he had any weapons in the vehicle, to which he said, “Nope.”
But when Davis returned with a ticket, he said he saw what looked like the butt of a gun between Boguslawski’s knees as he leaned toward the passenger seat.
“I said, ‘I thought you told me there were no weapons.’ And he said, ‘There’s not.’ And I said, ‘What’s that between your legs?’” Davis testified.
Davis held him at gunpoint until backup arrived, during which time Boguslawski said the weapon was fake and offered to show the trooper that it was. During a pat-down, Davis said he located rounds for a 223 rifle and .22-caliber gun inside Boguslawski’s pockets, along with two knives and some green notebooks.
With assistance from other troopers, a search of the vehicle revealed the gun between Boguslawski’s legs was a fake orange pistol inside a holster that was bolted to the driver’s seat. However, troopers did find a Beretta 9mm holstered to the driver’s seat next to the seat belt, loaded with a bullet in the chamber with the safety off, on top of a loaded Smith & Weston Walter P-22. They also found a 223 sniper rifle, AR-15, and .22-caliber zip gun with two banana clips inside the van, Davis said.
Behind the passenger seat, Davis said they found a camcorder bag with containing what “looked like IEDs,” or improvised explosive devices, made of several 5-hour Energy bottles that had fuses protruding out of them. At that point, Davis said he called for the Columbus bomb squad.
The van had several bags and containers of explosives, some assembled and some in process, along with materials to make more. In total, bomb squad members found 58 improvised explosive initiators, made of tubing and straws and containing explosives, or “energetic matter,” that can be used to set off other explosives, along with 25 IEDs inside bottles.
Some of the bombs were “timed,” that could be set off by lighting the fuse, while others were electrical and could be set off using a remote device. There was also a remote detonating device inside the van that could be set off using a remote key fob detonator. They also located a bomb weighing 1.5 pounds inside a large pill bottle, which contained too much explosive to safely transport, said Capt. Steve Saltsman, commander of the Columbus bomb squad.
Three field tests were done to determine if there was explosive matter inside the containers and bottles. Each test yielded a “snap and very a very quick flash reaction that indicates to (a) very volatile energetic matter,” Saltsman said.
Further tests found the explosives contained potassium chloride and aluminum powder, Saltsman said.
What Boguslawski’s intention was with the explosives is unclear. He was not licensed to possess or make explosives, as required by Ohio law, Saltsman said, and authorities located an Indiana conceal-carry permit, but were unable to confirm if it was authentic with state agencies. It did not have an expiration date on it.
When troopers located the camcorder bag and questioned him about it, Davis testified Boguslawski said they were used for a suicide bomber vest that he makes and uses for training. Authorities found a camera inside the van, which included three videos of explosions, one of which showed a male hand using a key fob detonator to blow up a small tree. Another video showed a young man using a fob for another explosion, and another was a night video of an explosion. Saltsman said the camera also had two pictures, one of which showed Boguslawski at a table with the materials found inside his van in the process of assembly.
Boguslawski indicated he was leaving his father’s home in Pennsylvania and headed to Indianapolis. The highway patrol said it’s unclear specifically where he may have been headed, but they did find the blueprints for an Indiana facility inside the van.
“The purpose of making explosives is causing that device to function. There is no other function to make that,” Saltsman said.
Mark Babb, Boguslawski’s attorney, questioned whether there was enough probable cause to hold his client in Madison County.
“We’re not talking about … whether my client is guilty or not guilty. We’re talking about whether probable cause exists, and it’s not been determined,” Babb said.
Judge Eric M. Schooley said he felt the burden of proof was met to find probable cause and bound the case over to be considered by a grand jury in the Madison County Common Pleas Court. The next grand jury convenes Feb. 5.
A federal judge sealed a search warrant affidavit used to search the intelligence analyst’s home in Moores Hill, about 80 miles southeast of Indianapolis, according to the Indianapolis Star.
Boguslawski is a member of the Indiana National Guard and was previously a member of the Ohio National Guard, said Lt. Col. Cathy Van Bree, a public affairs officer with the Indiana National Guard.
His security clearance has been suspended pending the outcome of the case, Van Bree said.
In 2004, Boguslawski lived in Fairborn. He graduated from Wright State University in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership, university officials confirmed.