AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The U.S. Attorney’s Office Northern District of Texas announced that Erfan Salmanzadeh, 32, suspected of causing the explosion at a home on Lenwood Drive, has been federally charged.
Salmanzadeh was charged via a criminal complaint on Friday with one count of possession of a destructive device and was charged by the state with possession of components of explosives.
“Mr. Salmanzadeh had absolutely no business handling unregistered destructive devices. We believe this defendant is a danger to the community and must be kept behind bars,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Prerak Shah.
Amarillo Police Department (APD) Cpl. Jeb Hilton said the Amarillo Fire Department responded to a reported explosion at a home on the 3600 block of Lenwood Dr. in the afternoon hours of July 26.
Cpl. Hilton said AFD determined there was an explosion in the backyard, where explosive materials were later found. They were also found inside the home and in the alley.
APD was called and later arrested Salmanzadeh for Possession of Components of Explosives, a third degree felony. He was booked into the Randall County Jail.
On Wednesday, July 28, MyHighPlains.com learned Salmanzadeh has chosen to represent himself in court, according to official documents from Randall County. Jail records showed his bond set at $1 million.
Salmanzadeh does not have any previous criminal history in Potter and Randall Counties.
More than two days after the initial explosion, APD’s Bomb Team was on scene, where the FBI and Department of Homeland Security were assisting.
Cpl. Hilton said Salmanzadeh was not on APD’s radar prior to the incident, and they do not know whether he had specific plans for any explosive materials.
“Motive is one of those things that takes a little bit longer to get to and then sometimes never, never find what it is. So, we’re hoping that through this investigation, we will get to that,” Cpl. Hilton added. “Our main priority right now is having him locked up to where he can’t cause any damage and making sure that we’re making this place safe.”
As of July 28, he said APD was not looking for any other suspects in this case.
Amaillo Police announed the on-scene investigation was completed on July 29.
If convicted of the federal offense, the U.S. Attorney’s Office Northern District of Texas said Salmanzadeh faces up to 10 years in prison.