For Immediate ReleasePress Contact: Mary Kusmiss, S-6, PIO, Berkeley Police Department, (510) 981-5780
POLICE MAKE ARREST IN EXPLOSIVES CASE
Berkeley, California (Monday, July 20, 2009) - On Saturday July 18th, at about 12:30 p.m., Berkeley Police Department (BPD) Patrol Officers responded to a 9-1-1 "hang-up" call from a house in the 900 block of Grizzly Peak Blvd. in north Berkeley.
Officers attempted to contact anyone inside the residence. Officers could hear movement inside the house, but no one responded to their knocking on the door. Officers continued their efforts to contact any occupants. After a period of time, an occupant emerged from the residence and quickly closed the door behind him.
During their contact with the 27 year old male, officers became increasingly concerned about the welfare of anyone inside the house. For no apparent reason, the male appeared extremely nervous, unduly angry, and agitated. He repeatedly cursed the officers and for a period of time refused to provide any evidence that he in fact lived in the residence. He refused to cooperate with officers' efforts to insure no one inside the residence was injured, in distress, or in need of aid.
Due to the growing concern over the welfare of anyone else inside the house, and in light of the male's unusual and suspicious behavior, officers decided to check the interior of the home to make sure no one inside was injured or in need of aid.
While officers found no one needing assistance inside the house, they observed a number of indications of possible criminal violations during the check of the home. Officers sought out and obtained a search warrant authorizing a search of the house for weapons. During the search, officers located chemicals and other items which could be used in the manufacture of explosives, and a quantity of explosive.
Officers evacuated the house and adjoining homes and the BPD Bomb Squad was called in to safely conduct the search and safely seize illegal materials.
Additional resources, including the Berkeley Fire Department Hazardous Materials Team, the University of California Police Department Bomb Squad, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation were also called to assist in this operation and the safe removal of materials.
A number of volatile items were removed using the UCPD blast transport vessel, and subsequently rendered safe.
Arrested was: Emoru Oboke Obbanya, a 27 year-old male Berkeley resident. Obbanya is currently in custody, charged with the following:
PC 12020(A)(1) Felony: Possession of illegal firearm
PC 12021(C)(1) Felony: Prohibited possession of a firearm
PC 12303.2 Felony: Possession of a destructive device
PC 12312 Felony: Possession of material w/ intent to make explosive/destructive device
PC 12316(B)(1) Felony: Prohibited possession of ammunition
PC 148(A)(1) Misdemeanor:Obstruct a peace officer in the course of their duties
Bail is set at $121,500.00.
The investigation is ongoing; there is no further information to add at this time.