A New Hampshire man was arrested for allegedly placing several pipe bombs underneath the porch of one of his neighbors.
Tirar Tortorello, 53, stands accused on three counts of possessing an infernal machine, according to Belknap County jail records.
A statute in the Nutmeg State defines an “infernal machine” as “any device which would endanger life or do damage to property, or both, by fire or explosion, whether or not contrived to ignite or explode automatically and whether or not disguised so as to appear harmless.”
The charge is considered a class A felony under New Hampshire law.
According to Laconia Police Chief Matt Canfield, a call came in on Sunday afternoon about a suspicious-looking package being found at a residence on Oak Street, Manchester-based ABC affiliate WMUR reported. Laconia is located some 45 miles due north of Manchester.
Police claim a surveillance video showed the defendant leaving a package under the porch of a residence, the TV station reported. A neighbor called in the incident because they thought the packing might have contained illegal drugs. Officers, however, said they discovered the package contained pipe bombs.
“As I was unwrapping that bag, I could see a white PVC pipe with what looked like a fuse connected to it,” an officer wrote in an affidavit obtained by CBS News, adding that they could feel three separate objects inside the package wrapped in plastic and packing tape.
The New Hampshire State Police bomb squad was called in and confirmed the pipe bombs were “live” using an X-ray, police said. A robot was used to transport the package out of the area, WMUR reported. Law enforcement established a shelter-in-place order for five hours as the devices were disposed of, police told the TV station.
The bomb squad “determined it to be three pipe bombs filled with gunpowder,” the affidavit obtained by CBS says.
“The device was transported offsite to a safe location, where it was detonated and, indeed, identified as explosive and potentially dangerous,” Canfield told WMUR. “It was further identified as three separate pipe bombs taped together as one unit.”
After allegedly being identified through the video footage, Tortorello admitted to placing the package under the woman’s porch, police alleged in court papers obtained by the TV station.
The suspect also allegedly described the contents of the package, according to CBS News – but did not explain.
Tortorello is being detained without bond under preventive detention, jail records note.
Class A felonies can be punished by up to 15 years in New Hampshire and a $4,000 fine.
According to WMUR, he does not live in the building but had been staying there recently, citing police. Law enforcement mused that there may have been a dispute about something.
On Monday, police were unsure if any connection existed between the suspect and the woman targeted by the pipe bombs, according to the New Hampshire Union Leader.
“We’re not sure on a motive yet,” Canfield told the paper.
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