Man charged in connection to explosive devices found on Ohio River

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CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK)—A man has been charged in connection to explosive devices found on three towboats and barges on the Ohio River since last Thursday, October 21.

Nathaniel Blayn Becker, 42, was charged with possession of an unregistered firearm or explosive device in the United States Magistrate Court.

Officials traced the materials used to build the devices to a Lowes store in Marietta, Ohio, and after reviewing records and surveillance camera footage from the store, they identified the vehicle and the suspect. Mr. Becker had not registered a destructive device with the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record, which is required by the National Firearms Act.

Mr. Becker is being held at the South Central Regional Jail.

More information about the three incidents is below:

According to a criminal complaint, a deckhand on the Janis R. Brewer found a piece of pipe inside an empty barge attached to the vessel on Thursday, October 21 as the vessel was traveling upstream on the Ohio River just north of Parkersburg, Wood County, West Virginia. The device appeared to have a fuse protruding from one end. The ship’s crew notified law enforcement, and the device was rendered safe.

Then, on Monday, October 25, the Captain and a deckhand of another towboat, the Connie K., said they heard “clanking” as the vessel traveled under the Interstate 77 bridge in Wood County, West Virginia. Two suspicious devices were found on the deck of that boat.

On Tuesday, October 26 at around 10:00 p.m., authorities responded to a third incident in Wood County, West Virginia. A deckhand on another towboat, the MV Findlay, found two more suspected destructive devices shortly after the boat had passed under the Interstate 77 bridge and the Williamstown Bridge.

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