A Tempe teenager’s IED (improvised explosive device) discovered by a housekeeper was found to be packed with explosive powder after law enforcement investigated the item.
The Tempe teen was arrested after the IED was found in the bedroom of 18-year-old Joshua Prater by a cleaning worker.
Tempe Police Sgt. Mike Pooley confirmed that the IED was a dangerous explosive device, and told press that had the homemade explosive detonated, someone could have been killed:
“They had it X-rayed, they saw it was a valid IED. It was something that wasn’t big, but could cause serious injuries and the death of someone.”
Prater, a student at Marcos de Niza High School in Tempe, was described as a straight-A student with plans to attend the University of Arizona in the fall.
MyFoxPhoenix reports that the teen is said to have admitted to making the IED several years ago, but the reason why is not currently clear:
“According to a police report, Prater admitted to building the IED, but said he made it about eight years ago and didn’t know it was filled with explosive powder … The IED was made out of an empty CO2 cartridge, hobby fuse and was filled with a low explosive powder, match heads and fireworks. It meets the definition of an improvised explosive device, as defined under ‘misconduct involving weapons.’ ”
The woman who found the IED endangered herself by transporting the homemade bomb to police, but overall, cops say her actions in reporting the suspected weapon were correct:
“She did the right thing. This a very dangerous device that could have killed somebody.”
The Tempe teen is due in court on charges related to the IED on May 15, and charges against him include misconduct involving weapons and possessing a prohibited weapon.