Search continues for man accused of making bombs

2014-06-04T14:15:00Z 2014-06-05T09:34:04Z Search continues for man accused of making bombsStan Maddux Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
June 04, 2014 2:15 pm  • 

Authorities on Wednesday still were looking for a LaPorte County man suspected of having at least several hundred sticks of homemade dynamite in his home and garage.

Also being investigated is whether the explosives had anything to do with the United States Postal Service.

"It's something that we're looking into," said Sgt. Ron Heeg, a detective with the LaPorte County Sheriff's Department.

Police on Wednesday said dozens of small boxes that contained sticks of dynamite wrapped in metal were seized from the property near Otis.

The boxes were labeled U.S. Postal Service, police said.

Robert Ofcky, 54, was charged Tuesday in LaPorte Circuit Court with Class C felony possession of an explosive device.

Officers responded Monday night to the 7000 West block of LaPorte County Road 125 North for a report of a domestic disturbance between Ofcky and his wife, Mellissa Waggoner.

Ofcky drove away before police showed up, and Waggoner, who appeared intoxicated, according to police, told officers, "I'll show you what he has been doing."

Police said she brought out a small cardboard box labeled "U.S. Postal Service" and inside were about dozen 8-inch-long sticks of dynamite.

Metal was wrapped around each stick and held in place by black electrical tape.

A wick also protruded from each of the sticks, police said.

Police said the box along with two plastic bags inside the box containing the dynamite also were sealed.

Officers were also led to the couple's attached two-car garage, where 50 other boxes were stored along with undisclosed ammunition inside a 5-gallon bucket, police said.

Police said a door leading from a main section of the home to the kitchen was barricaded to keep people away from an area where the dynamite was handled.

Waggoner told officers the kitchen had become his "preparatory room," police said.

Heeg said whether dynamite was assembled or distributed with help through postal deliveries was not known. He said it's also possible Ofcky was purchasing the shipping boxes at the post office and using them to store the materials.

LaPorte County Prosecutor Bob Szilagyi speculated the ingredients to make dynamite were delivered possibly through the mail due to evidence indicating the explosives were made at the residence.

"We're still looking into everything," Szilagyi said.

A motive for having so many sticks of dynamite capable of discharging shrapnel was still among the other unknowns being examined.

"I'm confident (Ofcky will) be apprehended in the near future," Heeg said.

The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is now the lead agency investigating the matter.

According to court records, Ofcky was arrested in 2008 on a battery charge in a case that in 2010 was dismissed.

He was taken into custody again in 2013 on a domestic battery charge. Those allegations are scheduled for a hearing July 14 on a motion to dismiss.

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