Man admits stealing explosives found in Las Vegas hotel

An Arkansas man has admitted in federal court that a cache of dynamite and fuses found with him at a hotel in suburban Las Vegas was stolen from a northern Nevada mining district, records said Friday. court and his lawyer.

Evan Ray Atkinson, 38, pleaded guilty in writing July 7 in U.S. District Court in Reno to a charge of stealing explosives from a federal licensee, part of a deal that could give Atkinson a year and a day in federal prison at sentencing. September 28.

Atkinson’s defense attorney, Richard Schonfeld, said his client accepted responsibility, made changes in his life and accepted the plea deal to close the case.

Nothing in the court filing says what Atkinson planned to do with what amounted to about 100 pounds (45 kilograms) of dynamite and ignition materials.

He avoided a trial scheduled for this week on several counts, including theft, possession, improper storage and transportation of explosive materials. He could have faced decades in prison if convicted.

Atkinson was arrested Jan. 4 at a Wyndham Suites hotel in Henderson and federal agents reported seizing 39 sticks of dynamite, more than a mile of detonating cord, fused lighters and ignition boosters from his bedroom. hotel, a van and a trailer.

A written plea agreement admitted that Atkinson stole the materials just before Christmas 2021 from a company in Kinkaid Mill, a mining district off US 95 near Hawthorne, Nevada.

A federal agent reported in court papers that a highway passerby said he saw a pickup truck with a white enclosed trailer on the remote property, and cellphone location records led investigators to Atkinson and a Brown Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck with Arkansas license plates.

Records showed Atkinson lives in Hot Springs, Arkansas, and also had an address in Manhattan Beach, California. He remained free without bail under house arrest with GPS monitoring pending proceedings in his case.

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