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Las Cruces man found with pipe bomb parts told police the equipment was “randomly” placed in his backpack

UPDATE- ABC-7 has learned a man reportedly found with pipe bomb components near a church in Las Cruces has been released on a personal recognizance bond.

PR bonds are usually given to suspects not considered dangerous.

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico (KVIA) -- According to court documents newly obtained by ABC-7, a Dona Ana County Sheriff deputy found Nathan Wallace at a park next to Moongate Church just after midnight May 31.

In an interview with investigators, Wallace said he had traveled to the church to charge his laptop because he does not have electricity. When other deputies arrived, court documents state they found Wallace next to the church, allegedly placing pipe bomb parts in a backpack.

Deputies set up a perimeter around the area and called in the bomb team. A deputy assigned to the Dona Ana County Sheriff's Bomb Team reported seeing an eight-inch galvanized pipe with caps on both ends and a 1/8 inch hole at the scene. He also reported seeing a battery bridge, red and black multi meter device, rechargeable batteries, and black and red wires. The officer reported that based on his training and experience, he believed these pieces were part of an explosive device.

The first deputy on scene reported talking to Wallace and asking him what was in his backpack. The deputy says Wallace told him "it's not drugs, it's gun powder," according to court documents. During an interview with investigators, Wallace allegedly said the items were "randomly" placed in his backpack.

Deputies also say they found syringes they believed held heroin. During questioning, Wallace reportedly told investigators that the syringes belonged to him and that they contained methamphetamine.

Wallace is charged with Possession of an Explosive or Incendiary Device. The Sheriff's Office says investigators are currently comparing this case with the 2015 bombings of the Calvary Baptist Church and Holy Cross Catholic Church, and with the discovery of a bomb at First Presbyterian Church, all in Las Cruces. None of the cases have been solved.

Article Topic Follows: New Mexico

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Rosemary Montañez

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