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Ohio Man Charged After Suspected Bombs Found on Tugboats

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October 29, 2021

An Ohio man has been charged with possession of suspected explosive devices that he allegedly dropped onto two tugboats on the Ohio River.

Nathaniel Blayn Becker, 42, of Marietta, Ohio, was charged on Thursday in a federal criminal complaint with possession of one or more “unregistered destructive devices.” Becker was arrested by law enforcement authorities on Wednesday in Marietta.

According to the criminal complaint, law enforcement officers recovered the devices from two different tugboats on the Ohio River on October 21 and October 25. The complaint alleges that Becker purchased pipes and other components for the devices from a Lowe’s store in Marietta on four separate occasions.

Authorities believe the suspect may have dropped the devices from bridges as the vessels passed below, according to media reports.

“The cooperation of Lowe’s was instrumental in Becker’s arrest and I thank them for their assistance,” said United States Attorney Will Thompson. “I commend the many law enforcement agencies for their swift investigation leading to Becker’s arrest.”

The ATF is conducting the investigation with assistance from the FBI, the West Virginia State Police, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Parkersburg Police Department, the Wood County Sheriff’s Department and the Washington County, Ohio, Police Department.

Assistant United States Attorney Joshua C. Hanks is handling the prosecution.


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