UNION — A man arrested at a home that was the center of an investigation into an explosion earlier this month is accused of using energetic material to make small devices inside the Warner Drive residence, according to the city’s police chief.
Chief Mike Blackwell told the I-Team’s John Bedell the explosive devices found at the house were not pipe bombs or IEDs, but instead described them as being like M-80s, which is a type of firework.
Connell Gubser, 68, who owns the house in the 100 block of Warner Drive, was booked into the Montgomery County Jail he was indicted on a felony count of illegal manufacturing or processing of explosives Friday afternoon.
Court records said Gubser was accused of making what was described as “flash powder.”
Police said Gubser took one of the explosives into the backyard, where it exploded. No one was hurt, but neighbors called 911 after hearing the blast.
“There was an explosion next door and smoke was rolling out of their house,” a 911 caller said. “I’m not really sure what happened. It was a very muffled low boom. I was able to see a bright flash.”
Blackwell said his department called the Dayton Bomb Squad after Union Police and Fire found more energetic material and additional small explosive devices inside the home. The chief added the bomb squad made the decision to get the FBI involved because of the amount of material and devices inside the home.
He said the department doesn’t yet know what Gubser’s intent with the devices was, but added that it wasn’t just someone messing around with fireworks.
A spokesman for the FBI said it had no other information it was able to release, but said Union Police and the local prosecutor’s office would be the agencies reviewing any possible charges in the case.
Emergency dispatch records obtained by News Center 7′s I-Team showed that crews at the home removed at least one of the devices and took it to a different location to detonate it.
Neighboring homes were evacuated while investigators were able to ensure the neighborhood was safe.
It’s not the first time Gubser has been involved in an incident at his home that prompted a large law enforcement response.
In January 2019, Gubser was charged after a SWAT standoff at his home. He ended up pleading guilty to a misdemeanor inducing panic charge and got a year probation, that included attending alcohol and mental health treatments, online records show.
Cox Media Group