COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An Indiana Guardsman who agreed to plead guilty to having homemade explosive devices in his vehicle when he was stopped in Ohio had planned to use them for legitimate training purposes and not to hurt people, his attorney said Thursday.
Andrew Boguslawski, 44, signed an agreement this week to plead guilty to possessing nine unregistered bombs and four other devices that could be converted to bombs, according to federal court documents. The maximum penalty is 10 years in prison.
While Boguslawski is guilty of having the illegal devices, he never planned to use them to strike anyone or anything, according to his attorney, Steven Nolder. He did not specify what kind of training Boguslawski planned to do with them.
“It isn’t what the media made this case out to be, that this person had some malicious, malevolent intent,” Nolder said. He said Bogulslawski may have been “reckless” in making and hauling the devices, but there was no plot involved.
An Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper stopped Boguslawski on Jan. 1 for traveling 88 mph in a 70 mph zone on Interstate 70 west of Columbus. Prosecutors said he was on his way back to Indiana after visiting family in Pennsylvania.
The devices found in Boguslawski’s vehicle were described in court documents as heavy plastic bottles sealed with “a quantity of explosive powder” and improvised electronic detonators.
Although Boguslawski said he had no weapons, the officer spotted the handle of a gun between his knees as the officer returned with a ticket, police said. The trooper then held Boguslawski at gunpoint and called for backup. Rifles and pistols were found in his vehicle.
Investigators said they also found numerous videos and photographs showing Boguslawski, family members and associates blowing up several devices, according to court documents. The video evidence showed that Boguslawski had used explosive devices as weapons and distraction devices near civilians and military personnel, court documents said.
Boguslawski had worked at an Indiana National Guard training center near Butlerville, Ind., and also told troopers at the scene he had items for training purposes. He had been in the Indiana Guard’s medical discharge unit since November, but his medical condition wasn’t disclosed.
Indiana National Guard spokeswoman Lt. Col. Cathy Van Bree said Thursday that Boguslawski is still in the Guard until the criminal case is finalized.
U.S. attorney’s office spokesman Fred Alverson declined to comment further on the case until after Boguslawski’s plea is formally entered April 1.