Pipe Bombs Found At Christian Elementary School & Gas Station, M - KMPH FOX 26 | Central San Joaquin Valley News Source

Pipe Bombs Found At Christian Elementary School & Gas Station, Man Arrested

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A man the FBI says planted pipe bombs at a Madera Christian Elementary School and a Chowchilla gas station, will stand before a federal judge Friday morning.

He was indicted by a federal grand jury on Thursday.

37–year–old Richard Key is facing 9 counts.

He was arrested weeks ago by the FBI at his parents' home in the town of Raymond, about 30 miles southeast of Merced.

Court records state the pipe bomb found at the school in Madera was triggered by a 9–volt battery, which would spark and explode when one of the caps was pulled.

Thankfully no one opened it, including the child who found it.

Associate Pastor of Grace Community Church, Greg Perkins says, "I think to them it looked like some sort of light saber or sword. The child took it to his father and his father after examining it realized something is not right here."

Court records state in March a similar pipe bomb was found in a trash can by a shell gas station in Chowchilla.

Agents say when they arrested Key, he was found with a third devise on him.

FBI Special Agent in Charge, Monica Miller says, "By selecting busy public areas it was clear that the devices were planted with intent to cause death or serious bodily injury."

Pastor Perkins say he doesn't know why his church and the preschool were targeted.

However he did say the board will reexamine its safety procedures.

If convicted, Key could spend at least 30 years in prison and up to life for each of the nine counts.

In addition, he could be fined up to $250,000 for each count.

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