A 24-year-old Ocean Park man was arrested Saturday after a tip led to the discovery of an explosive device buried in his back yard, according to a statement from Pat Matlock, chief criminal deputy for the Pacific County Sheriff’s Office.
A woman reported a man she described as her ex-boyfriend, Justice V. Webb, sent her electronic images of what appeared to be an explosive device he had manufactured, according to the statement. Detectives contacted the woman, who shared the images with investigators.
“Deputies viewed the images and they appeared to contain the various stages of the explosive device being constructed,” said Matlock. “The images showed what appeared to be the contents or materials used to pack into the device. Deputies noticed what appeared to be packets of gun powder, copper and lead bullets and pellets from a shotgun shell within the device. One of the images depicted the device being held in a hand which the female identified as belonging to her ex-boyfriend due to the jacket sleeve in the photo.”
The woman told investigators she wasn’t sure why Webb sent her the photos and said he made no threats to use the device, but said he had been experiencing some depression and could be volatile.
“The images of the device were sent electronically to a member of the Washington State Patrol Explosives Unit, which identified the device as appearing to be a viable explosive,” said Matlock. The Sheriff’s Office requested that the State Patrol Explosives Unit respond to the home to assist with the investigation and removal of the device.
Deputies contacted or attempted to contact residents in the general area of the suspect’s residence to advise them of the situation.
Webb was detained and a search warrant for his residence in the 26200 block of Sandridge Road was executed. Deputies discovered some of the same material used to construct the device, but the device itself was not initially located.
The suspect was questioned and led deputies to a freshly dug spot in his back yard. Webb explained to deputies that he buried the device because he received a message from his ex-girlfriend that she had called the Sheriff’s Office. He stated that his intent was to create a device that would later detonate.
The State Patrol Explosives Unit excavated the device from the ground and found it did contain gun powder, pellets and bullets but didn’t have a detonator.
Webb was booked into the Pacific County Jail on $20,000 bail. He is scheduled for arraignment in Superior Court on Friday.