SAN LEANDRO — Police arrested a man in Stockton after finding materials to make explosives, as well as bomb-making books, at a storage facility, they said.
Employees at StorQuest Self Storage, on Davis Street at Preda Street, were cleaning out an abandoned storage locker July 14 when they found the materials and called authorities, police Lt. Jeff Tudor said.
Police investigated that day and called in the Alameda County Sheriff's bomb squad, which removed about 100 pounds of material, including aluminum powder, red phosphorous, potassium chlorate, potassium nitrate, detonation cords, tubes and caps from the locker, Tudor said. He described the books as instructional for making "improvised explosives."
Police traced the materials to Clayton Avery, 37, and served a search warrant Thursday at his Stockton residence, where they took him into custody, Tudor said. Avery, who has no prior arrest history, is being held at the San Leandro jail.
"It's unknown to us exactly what he was doing with it," Tudor said of the materials. "From all indications, it looks like this guy was making M-80s and M-100s," which are fireworks.
"The material that he had was of very significant concern," sheriff's Sgt. Ray Kelly said. "In the wrong hands and in the wrong conditions, it could be very, very dangerous. These things are highly volatile and should not be stored in any public storage area."
Kelly said the materials could be used either for making fireworks or bombs. He said sheriff's department investigators and agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are analyzing the materials.
"This is not run-of-the-mill gunpowder. It's more serious than that," Kelly said. "It looks like it could have been more than a clandestine fireworks operation."
Jason Sweeney covers San Leandro. Contact him at 510-293-2469. Follow him at Twitter.com/Jason_Sweeney.