Pipe bomb found in sheriff's work crew truck
EUGENE, Ore. - A man sentenced to pick up trash along county roads took a pipe bomb and other explosives onto a sheriff's work crew vehicle in his backpack Tuesday, the Lane County Sheriff's Office said.
Benjamin E. Degroot, 19, of Springfield faces 10 counts of Recklessly Endangering (one count for each person on the truck), Possession of a Destructive Device and Unlawful Manufacturing a Destructive Device.
Around 1 p.m. Tuesday, a sheriff's deputy searching the interior of the work crew truck in West Eugene found the explosives.
The deputy put Degroot in handcuffs and called the bomb squad for help.
Eugene's Explosive Disposal Unit confirmed that the backpack contained a pipe bomb and other incendiary devices.
The bomb squad disarmed the explosives.
Degroot was serving on the work crew as alternative incarceration for a January 2013 arrest for posession of a firearm in public building.
According to a sworn affidavit in that case, a police officer arrested Degroot after students at the Lane Community College Aviation Maintenance Training Facility noticed a hangun in Degroot's waistband.
Degroot was arrested again in May 2013 after police found him in possession of a gun he claimed to have found in a paper bag at Skinner Butte Park.
The sheriff's office said people reporting for alternative incarceration programs meet at the work site. They are not searched before they arrive, so the pipe bomb was not detected until a search of the vehicle on site.