‘Felony stupid’ bomb-builder stuffed bottle with gunpowder, bullets; left it in ex-girlfriend’s apartment
EAGLE — If you intend to go fishing, do not use anything like Dustin Brown’s bomb.
Or if you and your girlfriend break up and you move out, remember to take your bomb with you.
If you don’t, your girlfriend might land in the Pitkin County jail. While she’s there she might tell the police that your bomb is in their Roaring Fork Valley apartment and where they can find it.
In court this week, Brown referred to his own behavior as “felony stupid.” He blamed alcohol and other drugs.
Instead of recycling it, Brown stuffed a 2-liter soda bottle with gunpowder, .22 caliber bullets, .25 caliber bullets, a .410 shotgun shell and dozens of small pieces of lead shot, then wrapping the whole thing with black plastic electric tape.
He did all that while on probation for his four previous felony convictions in North and South Carolina.
The plan, Brown said, was to put the concoction in the water — presumably Ruedi Reservoir — and blow it up because it would be fun and because it could be construed as some form of fishing, Brown reportedly told police when they picked him up.
“The lead balls were in there to make a splash in the water,” Brown said.
He also reportedly told police he was employed by Blackwater, the paramilitary security firm.
He’s not and won’t be employed by anyone for about the next eight years. That’s the state prison sentence District Court Judge Russell Granger handed down this week.
“I made some stupid decisions,” Brown told Granger during his sentencing hearing. “My problem has been drugs and alcohol since I’ve been in high school.”
He has a daughter, and that straightened him out for a while, he said. Custody fights drew him back to substance abuse, so he left for Colorado.
Unfortunately, he was on felony probation in North Carolina when he hit the road. He did not have permission to be out of North Carolina.
Brown told Granger he was “making fireworks.”
“This was not the smartest thing you could have done,” Judge Granger said.
Jim Fahrenholtz, Brown’s defense attorney, argued passionately that Brown is a “country boy,” who likes to “build things that blow up.”
Brown’s family and police in North Carolina agreed that he was a country boy who got involved in some things he should not, including trafficking pain medications.
“Trafficking pain meds was really stupid,” Brown said.
“I’m more concerned with the bomb and items within the bomb to create shrapnel,” Judge Granger said in handing down the eight-year sentence. “You’re a country boy, but there are several country boys in this courtroom who have never built a bomb. It’s an event that could have very serious consequences.”
A bomb squad from Grand Junction was called in to deal with it, after police found it — right where his girlfriend said it would be.
Brown had already been in the Eagle County jail for nine months when he was sentenced.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Aspen and Snowmass Village make the Aspen Times’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.