Explosives Found on St. Maries Property | Crime
Kootenai County Sheriff deputies responded to an explosives call near St. Maries on Thursday evening. 1,000 pounds of explosives were found on a property recently reclaimed by land owner, Verne McIlree. For the past year, McIlree says renters had been squatting on his land without any payment.
The renters, Eric and Lisa Kelly are owners of the company, Advanced Explosives Demolition. They are behind the building demolitions such as the Spyglass Hotel, 1515 Tower in Florida, Qwest Tower in Arizona and the Lake Champlain Bridge between New York and Vermont.
Ben Wolfinger, Kootenai County Sheriff Office's public information officer, said they are explosive rights contractors: "They had the right to have explosives, but it was not legally stored."
McIlree recalled that a few months ago one of his buildings on his property blew up.
"It caught fire and blew the entire building away," McIlree said. He continued, "People get killed in situations like this. One girl was supposed to go out there and feed the chickens, but it blew up just before that. They heard it twenty miles away."
The explosion blew the windows out of the house next door. McIlree said the neighbors were so traumatized, they moved.
"We said there were probably more. We contact the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms (ATF), but they didn't want to do anything about it," McIlree said.
ATF did not return our calls to their offices, but a representative from the FBI confirmed that both the FBI, ATF and deputies from the sheriff department were on the scene last night. It's been confirmed that ATF is taking care of the case.
The explosives found on the property were labeled, "Charges, Shaped, Flexible, Linear." on a box stored in a barn on the property. They were removed by law enforcement, Thursday evening.
It is not known what charges, if any, the Kellys face.