FBI Arrests Man Over Incendiary Devices Near Massachusetts Power Lines Discovered By Firefighters During Brush Fire

On Saturday morning, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) arrested a Massachusetts man in connection with several incendiary devices that were found dangling from power lines by firefighters responding to a brush fire. The 61-year-old suspect reportedly has a long and combative history with telecommunications companies in his area.

It was on Wednesday afternoon that firefighters from Tyngsboro, a small town near the New Hampshire border, in the process of fighting a brush fire near a power line, noticed several devices which seemed out of place. The firefighters called in employees from the National Grid and after responding to the scene they, in turn, contacted the police, and later the FBI were summoned to inspect what seemed to be several incendiary devices that favored pipe bombs. The unspecific number of devices were near transmission lines operated by the National Grid.

The FBI believes that it was one of the incendiary devices which started the brush fire which the Tyngsboro firefighters were battling when they discovered the out-of-place items.

While it was eventually determined that the devices found on the power lines were not explosive and special agent Harold H. Shaw of the Federal Bureau of Investigation assured the media that the devices did not pose a threat to the general public, they are flammable. Their design allowed them to generate extreme heat and even fire, but not explode. Shaw went on to advise that there was no evidence discovered to suggest that the suspect’s actions were part of a terror plot, though he did not provide a motive for the placement of the incendiary devices on the power lines.

At approximately 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, Danny Kelly was arrested at his home in Chelmsford, Massachusetts. The arrest came about through a joint effort between the FBI, Massachusetts State Police, the Chelmsford Police Department, the Tyngsborough Police Department and the Army National Guard Civil Support Team. According to Reuters, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s office in Massachusetts, Christina Dilorio-Sterling, said that Kelly’s arrest was because of the probable cause which the investigation into the incendiary devices unearthed. The suspect is scheduled to face charges for the numerous, flammable devices on Monday. The FBI did not specify what he would be charged with.

The man’s arrest came three days after the initial discovery of the devices. It took the work of several special bomb technicians to identify the incendiary devices which had been on the power lines. The FBI disabled the pipe bomb replicas prior to the in-depth investigation which led to Danny Kelly’s arrest.

Tyngsboro Police Chief Richard Howe stated that he is grateful to the multiple departments which were a part of the collaboration effort.

“We are grateful to the FBI and our neighbors for their hard and efficient work during this investigation. Through municipal, state and federal partnerships we were able to bring a swift resolution to this case.”

CBS local Boston, reported that Chelmsford Police Chief James Spinney reiterated the Tyngsboro Chief’s statement, and added that because of the effort of all involved, “a fine example of collaboration among all levels of law enforcement,” the public was kept safe.

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Back in 2005, Danny Kelly had pleaded guilty to extortion in a case which involved Comcast Corp and Verizon Communications, Inc. Federal court documents showed that in that instance Kelly had gone around cutting the communication cables of both companies and demanded monthly payments of $10,000 in order to stop his illegal actions. He received a sentence of five years’ probation and was also ordered to receive treatment for his mental health.

Kelly has filed over a dozen civil lawsuits in Massachusetts against several telecommunications companies as well as the town of Chelmsford itself, arguing that they had stolen his ideas,as well as land belonging to him on numerous occasions. He represented himself in all those cases and lost each of them.

It is unclear whether or not Kelly has obtained an attorney for his upcoming court appearance for this charge.

[Photo Courtesy of Yuttana Jeenamool/Shutterstock]