MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

May 20, 2013

Area man in court after bomb scare

Tahlequah man allegedly left bag with explosive device at company

A Tahlequah man was arraigned in federal court Monday in connection to a recent explosives scare.

Bryan Berres, 27, represented by Rob Ridenour, appeared on a complaint of possession of an unregistered firearm.

Berres was detained May 9 and hospitalized after allegedly leaving a duffle bag with firearms, ammunition and an explosive device at AmeriGas, a propane company in Tahlequah.

Berres was hospitalized after being detained, and federal authorities took over the investigation.

A media release describes the explosive device as a “CTS Model 7290 1.5-second delay Flash-Bang,” which had not been registered to Berres in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer record.

Assistant United States Attorney Ryan Roberts said Berres’ violation was more regulatory in nature than criminal.

“It wasn’t registered,” Roberts said. “Of course, if he had tried to register it, we would have said, ‘Why the hell do you have this?”

Berres will return to court at 11 a.m. Thursday for a preliminary hearing in Magistrate Judge Steven P. Shreder’s courtroom. Shreder asked Ridenour if Berres had a competency issue, but Ridenour said no.

“I know my client has been medicated in the hospital, but I haven’t had trouble communicating with Mr. Berres,” Ridenour said.

Tahlequah Police Department Chief Nate King said the backpack had been left within 10 feet of a propane tank, though it didn’t appear Berres had any intent to cause damage or harm.

If found guilty, Berres could spend up to 10 years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, and/or a $250,000 fine.

The incident scare was the fourth bomb-related incident in Cherokee County this year.

• The Cherokee County Courthouse was evacuated March 27 after a man called the County Clerk’s Office, said he was “tired of paying his (expletive) fines” and stated there was a bomb in the building. No bomb was found. No arrests have been made.

• Three Tahlequah students were arrested in connection to an April 8 bomb scare at Tahlequah High School. A note was left at the school that indicated a threat, said school resource officer Bryan Swim.

• Jeremy Ramirez, 27, was arrested April 19 after Tahlequah City Hospital staff notified police that Ramirez had shrapnel wounds all over his body. Authorities found explosive devices at Ramirez’ home as well as a residence in Stilwell.

 

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