Charges filed after discovery of 1,000 pounds of explosives

WILLISTON, ND (AP) — A North Dakota man accused of storing more than 1,000 pounds of homemade explosives in his garage now faces criminal charges.

Court records show Ross Petrie, 28, of Williston, is charged with a crime called ‘unleashing destructive forces’.

A probable cause affidavit says law enforcement officers began serving a series of search warrants at Petrie’s home on Oct. 10 after being tipped off that a narcotics lab might be in operation.

According to the affidavit, authorities discovered it was actually an explosives-making operation in the garage of a townhouse complex. Officials say they evacuated more than 10 people from the building in which Petrie’s townhouse was located.

The release of the explosive materials would have “catastrophic consequences” not only for the immediate building, but for the entire townhouse complex, according to the affidavit.

Williston police have requested assistance from the North Dakota National Guard’s 81st Civil Support Team to help analyze and identify explosive materials.

The criminal complaint and probable cause affidavit do not include a reason for the stockpile of explosives.

Petrie was scheduled to attend a bond hearing on Friday afternoon. Court records do not mention a defense attorney.

Deminers Minot and Bismarck were due to resume detonating explosives at a Williston landfill on Friday.

Williston is located in the oil patch of northwestern North Dakota near the Montana border.