Amazing this gets no news coverage.
This happened locally to me yet it was buried deep in the local paper and the cover story of today's paper is about a guy who has a collection of toy motorcycles. WTF!
WALLINGFORD — Police checking on a man sleeping in his vehicle Tuesday discovered a potentially lethal cache of sophisticated bomb-making material, including two improvised explosive devices and a remote detonation device, as well as a fake mustache and makeup.
The man already faces charges in a 2002 pipe bomb attack in New York that blew off part of a man’s leg.
Yung W. Tang, a 38-year-old Chinese national who lives in Greenwood Lake, N.Y., was being held in lieu of $10 million bail Wednesday and is facing federal firearms and explosives charges.
Tom Carson, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office, said that while the investigation into where Tang got the bomb-making materials and what he planned to do with them is continuing, “There is no indication at this point that he planned to use them in Wallingford.”
According to the arrest affidavit submitted by the New Haven office of the FBI, the materials found in the van Tang was driving “reflect a significant level of sophistication and experience with assembling and constructing bombs and explosive devices.”
Tang appeared before U.S. Magistrate Joan G. Margolis Wednesday afternoon. He is charged with transporting explosive materials without the necessary license and possession of a firearm, specifically materials that could be made into an improvised explosive device, said Kevin J. O’Connor, United States attorney for Connecticut.
Both charges against Tang carry a maximum prison term of 10 years, O’Connor said.
In 2002, a pipe bomb was placed in Brooklyn next to the van of local businessman, Yisroel Halberstam, and blew off part of his right leg. The 46-year-old Halberstam, who also goes by the first name Israel, had to have his right leg amputated below the knee.
The incident stemmed from a landlord-tenant dispute, according to Detective Kevin Czartoryski, a police spokesman. It was not immediately clear which man was the landlord in the case.
Yang was charged in December in the New York case with first-degree assault, reckless endangerment, first-degree arson and criminal possession of a dangerous weapon. His bail was set at $50,000.
Tang has no firearms or explosive devices registered in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Records, according to the federal the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.
The events that led to Tang’s arrest — and brought state and federal law enforcement officials to Wallingford — began unfolding at about 2:20 a.m. Tuesday when Wallingford police Officer Brad Marshall spotted a van with a North Carolina license plate in the parking lot of the KinderCare Learning Center at 110 Miles Drive, said Lt. Marc Mikulski.
Marshall approached the van and Tang identified himself and said he had been driving on Interstate 91 on his way home from Boston, became sleepy and pulled off the highway to take a nap. The day care center is located a short distance from the Exit 15 highway interchange.
Marshall became suspicious when Tang said he had been parked there for two or three hours, because the officer had been patrolling the area for about 30 minutes and had not seen the van there before, according to the arrest warrant affidavit.
A check into Tang’s motor vehicle record by police found that his license was suspended, that the license plate on the vehicle he was driving belonged to another vehicle and that he had no insurance or registration.
Tang was arrested on those motor vehicle violations initially, but a search of his vehicle turned up two black duffle bags, one that had pipe bomb materials in it and the other that had a fake mustache, makeup, and gum remover, authorities said. Among the materials that police found, according to the arrest warrant affidavit, that could have been used to make a bomb were:
- a 12-inch long PVC pipe with metal caps at both ends;
- a Nyquil bottle containing a black powdery substance that appeared to be gunpowder;
- a digital timer;
- a bag containing wires and caps;
- a cylindrical tube with threaded ends;
- plastic foam coffee cups with a hard, white substance inside.
After finding those items, as well as a parking ticket that indicated the van had been in New York City at 9:35 a.m. Monday, Wallingford police contacted the FBI’s special agent bomb technician and the state police.
The cups contained a small light bulb embedded in explosive material, with wire protruding from the cups that when linked to an electrical source could detonate the explosive. The timers had been reworked to allow for radio-controlled remote activation, according to the arrest affidavit.
The state police emergency services unit disposed of the explosive materials, Mikulski said.