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Pipe-bomb suspect tells FBI that explosives were meant to defend his home

FBI bomb technicians explain how intel is gathered in bomb explosion cases. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Heather Shaw)

The Loveland man arrested last week after making threats that drew the attention of the FBI told agents he’d planned to use the four pipe bombs discovered at his house in the event people tried to force entry in the middle of the night, according to court records.

Bradley Bunn, 53, was involved in online discussions about a rally last Friday at Colorado’s Capitol to protest the state’s coronavirus restrictions, but the threats that drew the attention of the FBI were unrelated to the protest, a law enforcement official told The Denver Post on Monday.

Bunn told the FBI he thought the pipe bombs would be effective against a 3 a.m. “hard entry” if people were bunched together in front of his door at the start of some sort of raid, according to a criminal complaint.

Bunn was arrested Friday morning after authorities said they found the pipe bombs and bomb-making materials inside his home at 5512 Gabriel Drive in Loveland. In a subsequent interview with agents, Bunn described himself as an amateur bomb maker and said he bought some of his supplies online and some from the outdoor retailer Jax.

He said he wasn’t sure how stable the bombs were after he filled the pipes with gunpowder, according to the complaint, so he threw them down in a field to see if they’d explode on impact. They did not.

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Bunn had planned to use a lighter to set fire to the fuses on the pipe bombs, which he thought would burn for about five to seven seconds before causing them to explode.

He said he didn’t put any material inside the bombs intended to create shrapnel.

“I was considering buck shot,” he told the agents, according to the complaint. “I mean if you’re gonna do a job, do it right. But because I don’t have sufficient knowledge of what interacts with what, I didn’t want to put coating on a ball bearing or something that would interact with the gunpowder and cause some kind of chemical reaction I didn’t expect.”

Bunn told agents where to find the bomb-making supplies inside his house during the 7 a.m. raid.

Bunn has had previous brushes with the law. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of child abuse in 2016 in Larimer County, court records show. He was charged with negligently causing bodily injury to a child. The details of that case were not immediately available Monday, although the plea agreement shows he was sentenced to 12 months of unsupervised probation, prohibited from using drugs or alcohol and required to attend anger management and parenting classes.

In his conversation with FBI agents, Bunn referred to himself as a former “infantry commander,” according to the complaint, and also used the term “slapper,” which is a slang term for a combat engineer trained in explosives. Two military branches did not return requests for comment Monday about whether Bunn served with them.

Bunn was charged with possessing an unregistered destructive device and faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted. His next court hearing is set for Wednesday.

His immediate family did not return requests for comment Monday.

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© 2020 The Denver Post